Stores in Shirley, Solihull, have joined forces to launch a new campaign to save small retailers.
They have teamed up with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and have warned shoppers to use their shops or they may lose them.
The battle cry has come as the town is set to be transformed as part of a controversial £100 million project.
The scheme, which has been in the pipeline for more than five years and includes an Asda superstore, dozens of other shops, cafes and restaurants and more than 200 apartments, has met with fierce opposition from local residents, retailers and councillors.
It was given planning permission by Solihull Council in September 2006, but was delayed after dozens of shops in Stratford Road appealed against Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs).
A public inquiry in December 2008 eventually upheld the CPOs, forcing the closure of the shops.
However, earlier this month, developers Shirley Advance admitted the plans were being revised in light of the economic downturn.
Existing plans to build retail shops over two levels could be down-scaled to cover one level only, while the proposals to build apartments could be scrapped in favour of building town houses instead.
Work, which was supposed to begin at the end of last year, will now be put on hold until at least the summer of 2010 – just months before the scheme was previously due to be completed.
Martin Cund, proprietor of Coffee Roaster cafe on Stratford Road, in Shirley, said: “I’m concerned about the new Asda. I think it will polarise trade. The whole point of a major supermarket is to sell everything a person needs under one roof. Why would people want to shop elsewhere when they can do it in one place?
“Now is a crucial time for us to campaign to keep trade local and get people to support small businesses like ours.”
Lawrence Loy, business manager at Toyk restaurant in Stratford Road, Shirley, added: “We are supported really well by our local clients and I want to get involved in anything that promotes local businesses.
“We are surviving thanks to the support of the people of Shirley and we try to help other local businesses by buying the produce we use to make our cuisine locally.”
FSB regional organiser Linsey Hunter said: “Small businesses are not just a part of the local community, they are the local community.
“In towns and villages across the UK, small businesses and local shops face closure. Our high streets face extinction. Nobody wants this to happen, but there is little or no political will to ensure the future of small businesses in our local communities.”
The FSB has now handed a petition signed by businesses and MPs to Parliament and are pressing the Government to make changes to help support small businesses.
Solihull MP Lorely Burt (Lib Dem), who has backed the campaign, said: “Fifty per cent of the money that is spent in independent small shops finds its way back into the local economy compared to five per cent spent in big supermarkets.
“That’s one of the most shocking statistics I have heard and just reiterates why Shirley does not need a giant retailer swallowing up the existing small shops.”