The Small Business Saturday campaign encourages the public to shop local today, 5 December.
Speaking on a visit to gift shop Dandelion & Ginger at Tollcross in Edinburgh, Alison said:
"We have lots of fantastic small businesses in Edinburgh and across the Lothians and for many of them this can be the make or break time of the year. Big retailers, whose profits leak out of the local economy, have an unfair advantage and we need to do everything we can to provide small, independent businesses with a more level playing field.
"I want to see more support for small and micro-businesses to help them thrive. We need to see investment in our streets to encourage walking and cycling to local shops, we need investment in broadband to keep businesses connected, and we need to see public bodies using more of their procurement budgets to benefit local firms."