An extra tax on big supermarkets would hit the poorest families hardest, the Government has said.
The Department for Communities and Local Government has rejected calls from 20 local authorities for a new levy on supermarkets to help revitalise local shopping areas.
"Imposing new, additional taxes on supermarkets will push up the price of food and the cost of living, hitting low-income families the hardest," a DCLG spokesman said.
He said there were "much better ways to support small shops".
A coalition of 20 councils is calling for a new levy on big supermarkets to pay for improvements in local shopping areas.
The local authorities say the tax could raise money to help revitalise town centres.
The leader of Derby City Council, which is leading the group, said that life was being "sucked out of the city centre" by big out-of-town stores.
Ranjit Banwait told Radio 4's Today programme the move was a response to "the worst cuts in history" to council funding.
A similar levy is in place in Northern Ireland, while in Scotland health services for smoking and drinking-related disease are partly funded by sellers of tobacco and alcohol.
Around 600 Derby small and medium businesses could benefit from around £1.4 million of Government funding from a new scheme being launched today. The announcement comes as Derby City Council is holding 'Small Business Saturday' in the city.
The scheme is part of Department for Culture, Media and Sport Superconnected Cities Programme and is designed to help local businesses to grow and develop.
Derby will be one of the 22 superconnected cities to be awarded the funding.
Energy firm npower is to close its site at Stoke-on-Trent, according to ITV Business Editor Laura Kuenssberg.
It is understood that workers will be told the news at a meeting at 9am tomorrow.
Around 600 people work at the site.
Businesses in Nottingham will be able to apply for a share of £40million today.
The Foresight Nottingham Fund is being made available to support firms to boost the local economy as part of the city council's growth plan.
The Coventry car manufacturing firm, CovPress, will unveil a new £3million press machine, which the company claim will create more jobs for the Midlands.
The machine will provide body parts for car firms including Midlands-based Jaguar Land Rover, General Motors and Honda.
Scientists have disovered how to make gold from rubbish - black gold - in other words - oil.
It sounds like the Holy Grail for the energy industry, but researchers at Aston Univeserity in Birmingham have figured out that if they burn rubbish and garden clippings in a pressure cooker - it turns into oil and gas.
They're heating their own building with it - now they want to help firms do the same thing and say large cities can become self-sufficient in generating their own power. Our business correspondent, Mark Gough reports.
Setting up your own business in the current economic climate is never going to be easy, but one enterprising 21-year-old, has more obstacles than most to overcome.
Becki Stone from Leicestershire has Cystic Fibrosis. She has to take between 30 and 40 tablets a day and have regular physio to keep her lungs clear. But with a great deal of determination she's just fulfilled her lifelong ambition and opened her own hairdressing salon. Jane Hesketh reports.
Derby-based Rolls Royce has a secured a contract with Indonesian airline Garuda Indonesia Airlines for Trent 700 engines.
The engines which are made in the Midlands will help the airline build their fleet of A330 planes, of which they will have 24 by 2015.
Rolls Royce has over 2,400 Trent 700 engines on order from companies across the world.