The Councillor for East Belfast – who is behind Belfast City Council’s support for Small Business Saturday – said the comments proved the PUP is not committed to delivering the best for Belfast.
Councillor Andrew Webb said: “Traders across the city have faced a disruptive time over the past 12 months and Saturday’s parade will have done nothing to calm the concerns for the future of local retailers.
“These are essential shopping weeks and it is completely inappropriate for a soon-to-be Councillor to be so dismissive of business owners and workers in the heart of the City.
“As Belfast City Councillors it is our job to promote this great city and take decisions based only on what is best for the majority. This is something Billy Hutchinson clearly still has to learn.
“The Alliance Party firmly supports traders across Northern Ireland, backing them at both a local government and Assembly level. Last month I secured the Council’s full support for Small Business Saturday, taking place this Saturday, and welcome the All Party Motion proposed by Alliance MLA Judith Cochrane.
“Unlike Billy Hutchinson who seems to prefer online shopping, I will be supporting my local traders in the run up to Christmas and would encourage others to come out and shop locally on December 7.”