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Traders are being sent proposals which could raise around £700,000 for Barnstaple town centre - but would also cost more.
There are proposals to turn Barnstaple into a Business Improvement District (BID). It would mean traders paying an extra 1% on their rates, but in return, the money would be spent directly on the town. It could be spent on things ranging from advertising to new signage.
Gerry Fry, the Chairman of the bidBarnstaple Steering Group said: "If times were good, I think it'd be more of a reason not to do it, actually. Now times are tough, it's very much a reason to do it, because no-one else is going to help us out, are they?"
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The ballot on the scheme will take place in February. If it goes ahead, shoppers could start noticing a difference in as little as six months.