Owners of small stores have welcomed a government decision to ignore pleas from larger high-street stores to relax Sunday trading laws.

Under-Secretary of State for business, innovation and skill Baroness Wilcox said the government had no plans to relax the six-hour trading restrictions on stores over 3,000sq ft, despite pressure from big high-street names such as Topshop, Boots and Burton to change the rules for Boxing Day this year, which falls on a Sunday.

Janice Lawson of Little Market Store in West Malling, Kent, said she was pleased by the news. "We have a lot of larger shops and supermarkets near us and if they had been allowed to open all day Sunday, it could have taken a lot of our trade away, especially in the early morning when people get their papers," she said.

Jenny Wynne-Jones of Spar Connah's Quay, Clwyd, was also relieved that the trading restrictions would stay. "Once supermarkets close on a Sunday we see an immediate increase in customers and spend. It can be up to 30% busier," she said.