Liverpool City Council has approved plans to create a business improvement district in Liverpool's commercial district.
Proposals will now go forward to Communities and Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, ahead of a final ballot of landlords and tenants in spring.
More than 800 ratepayers will be balloted on the plan, which aims to generate in excess of £600,000 a year for enhanced marketing, maintenance and physical improvements through a levy equivalent to 1% of business rates.
The application for BID status was launched by Liverpool Commercial District Partnership, which said the planned cuts in public spending have created the need for the city's private sector to protect the area's wider interests and leverage potential further investment.
A group of BID ambassadors, including Chamber of Commerce chief executive Jack Stopforth and Downtown Liverpool in Business chairman Frank McKenna, was recruited to promote the application among the business community.
Paul Rice, chief executive of Liverpool Commercial District Partnership, said: "We are delighted that the city council shares our vision for the commercial district and we look forward to receiving their support as we enter the final stages of the application process.
"The key ingredient is information and we are confident that, if people are given the correct details, they will recognise the numerous benefits of BID status and vote accordingly.
"BID status not only provides significant additional funding for things like improved street lighting, transport access and public realm, but it also gives ratepayers a much greater say in how that money is spent in their area, in many cases for the price of a daily cup of coffee.
"Our BID ambassadors will be doing all they can to spread the good word and we are also asking any landlords or tenants to contact us if they have any questions about what BID status involves."
The proposed new BID area would become Liverpool's second following the successful City Central application five years ago and would be bounded by Leeds Street in the north and James Street in the south and run from east-west from The Strand to Pall Mall, mirroring the boundaries currently controlled by Liverpool Commercial District Partnership.