BUSINESS owners on the northern outskirts of the Toowoomba central business district are doing what they can to keep their businesses afloat amid diminishing traffic numbers to their end of town.
Since the closure of significant businesses north of Russell St including WOW Sight and Sound, Toowoomba Metal Technologies, Defiance Mill, and most recently Dick Smith, business owners have had to adjust their business strategies to cope with drastic falls in customer numbers.
Brumbies GO! owner Victoria Townsend said a substantial decline in foot traffic around the area had resulted in a 30 per cent drop in business since WOW Sight and Sound closed its doors.
I feel as though council has let this part of town down. As soon as you cross Russell St the beautification stops.
She said the number was significant since her business, like those surrounding her, had not yet recovered since they were destroyed in last year's floods.
"There's just no one down this end (of town)," she said
"We have our loyal customers which were using us even before the flood but there's not a lot of walk-by trade anymore.
"I know times are tough but we are nowhere near what we were before the flood.
"I don't want to sound like I'm whinging because I know everyone is struggling, but honestly, it's just dismal.
"I don't know whether it's part of the GFC or just a post flood thing, I'm not 100 per cent sure. But the fact that there is no one down here, it's like this end of town is just dying."
Mercer and Windley Newsagency owner Vicki Kenway said although her business relied on a different style of customer than the surrounding food outlets, a significant decline in customers was of great concern.
She described the stretch of Ruthven St as a "little poverty area" and said she understood foot traffic would drop while major businesses were shutting their doors.
However, she said Toowoomba Regional Council should take some responsibility and contribute to breathing life back into the area.
"I understand beautification costs money, but all they (council) need to do is look at the footpaths around here. They're terrible," Ms Kenway said.
"I feel as though council has let this part of town down. As soon as you cross Russell St the beautification stops."
Ms Kenway said she believed that if "significant businesses" were to move into the now vacant buildings, she would be able to claw back some of the 25 per cent of her business she had lost since the doors began to close.
But there are signs of life left in the northern end of the city despite the application for a 10-storey motel at the intersection of Chalk Dr and Ruthven St being withdrawn last year.
Since April this year, the former National Australia Bank building was bought by Lifeline Darling Downs to accommodate its new headquarters.
The former WOW Sight and Sound building was also bought in April by businessman John Wagner who plans to convert the building into retail office space.