Business leaders in the Borders have held, what have been described as 'important talks' with the council after a survey showed shoppers are staying away from eight Borders towns.
There's been a 17% drop in the numbers over the last four years.
Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce says more can be done to boost local high streets.
James Aitken from SBCC told ITV Border:
'If you walk into any shop in the Borders it is an issue right across the board. That's why we are such supporters of the borders railway and broadband being improved. Business rates are a huge issue. We would ask the council to look at that again and see what help they can give. "
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Wet and windy spells, interspersed with drier interludes this week. Wintry showers and variable temperatures. Gales and a weather warning
Wetter in the west, cloudy but direr further east. Milder than of late, but blustery
After the recent snow and very cold temperatures, we see a return to the sort of weather we would normally expect for the UK in January