A meeting to object to the result of the Yorkshire Coast BID will take place tonight (Monday).
After the scheme was voted in at the end of last month, businesses in Whitby have been campaigning to reverse the outcome of the postal ballot, which attracted a turnout of only 29.17%.
As part of the initiative, backed by 55% of those who voted, businesses with a rateable value of £12,000 or above will have to pay a mandatory levy (1.5% of that value) to raise £5 million over the next five years – money that will be used to pay for general improvements in the towns along the coast.
However, traders in Whitby are sceptical about the benefits the scheme will actually bring to their town.
Many of them also claim the scheme was poorly advertised with business owners being unaware of what the BID was and that a postal ballot was taking place.
Dozens are now joining forces to make their voices heard and campaign against the result of the vote.
Hero Sumner, owner of Moon and Balloon is among those organising the meeting.
She said: “Given the low turnout and the number of people in Whitby who didn’t receive the ballot paper or didn’t receive enough information about the vote, feelings are running high and we have decided to come together to overturn the result of the vote.
“On average, businesses in Whitby will have to pay £763 a year and that’s on top of their business rates which are extortionate.
“There’s people who would rather go to prison than pay this levy.”
The meeting will take place at 6pm at the Whitby Friendship Rowing Club.
All businesses from Whitby and the surrounding area as well as representatives from the Yorkshire Coast BID are invited to attend.