THIS IS the last week for St Austell businesses to vote for a scheme which could see the town receive a £750,000 windfall.
Voting for the St Austell Business Improvement District (BID) closes at 5pm on Thursday, January 31.
The result will be announced on the website following the count that evening.
If approved, the BID could generate between £75,000 and £150,000 a year for five years, by charging eligible businesses 1 or 2 per cent on top of business rates.
A steering group would decide how to spend the cash under two main themes: making St Austell attractive, accessible and safe, and secondly, events, marketing and cost savings.
Businesses that meet the minimum rateable value are being balloted this month.
If 51 per cent vote in favour, the BID will be adopted.
"Where else will the town get more than £120,000 of funding a year, for five years? How else will the town achieve what it wants to achieve?" said steering group chairman Chris Witt.
"There is no 'pot at the end of the rainbow' and this could be St Austell's last opportunity to ring-fence a sustainable fund for five years, specifically for the town centre."
The BID has already contributed towards the town's loyalty card scheme and a promotional January sales parking initiative.
Robin Hunkin from men's clothes shop Alias Smith, in Duke Street, supports the BID.
"Having traded in the town for more years than I care to remember, this is the first initiative I've seen that is fair and just across the board," he said.
"These are difficult times and no-one is going to wave a magic wand and put customers in my shop.
"At least with a BID the town, and my business, will have a resourced BID manager to do all the things we'd like to do but don't have the time, money or patience to achieve."
Ballot papers can be returned by post in pre-paid envelope provided or put in the ballot box in the St Austell One Stop Shop reception.
To view the final BID proposal visit www.staustellbid.co.uk.
Contact BID development officer Josyanne Thatcher on 01872 224378 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.