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. "
More top news
A look ahead at the forecast for the Border region.
Pictures from the commemoration marking the centenary of the Quintinshill rail disaster, which killed more than 200 people, is underway.
The 100th anniversary of Britain's worst rail disaster will be commemorated at a special service today.