More than 250 businesses affected by plans to develop flood defences in the Lower Don Valley have until December 13 to vote on whether the project goes ahead.
The plans were drawn up after floods hit the Lower Don Valley in 2007, causing massive disruption and damage.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is providing £5.5 million towards the £8.1 million project and a further £1.2million is being sought from the Environment Agency.
Businesses are being asked to contribute the remaining £1.4 million by agreeing to the creation of a Business Improvement District, with powers to levy additional rates for five years.
Small firms whose premises have rateable values less than £12,000 will be exempt.
A third of businesses in the area will contribute less than £1,000 and more than 60 percent of businesses will contribute less than £2,500 over the five years of the BID.
Richard Wright, from Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is an important project and an important decision for business to make.
“I understand how hard it is to run a business, but I can only recommend people vote yes to the flood defences.”
Meetings are being arranged to allow affected businesses to ask questions about the BID proposal at architects BDP’s offices at 1 North Bank, tomorow, from 12.30pm to 4pm; at Sheffield Chamber of Commerce’s Albion House headquarters, next Thursday, November 28, from noon to 6pm and on Friday, December 6, at Riverside Court on Don Road, from 10am to 12.45pm and Jessop Riverside off Brightside Lane, from 1.15pm to 4pm.
The Sheffield Business Awards, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, Thursday, December 5, 2013, 7pm to 2am. Black tie/evening dress. Guest speaker Countryfile TV presenter Julia Bradbury. Tickets from £85. Visit www.sheffieldbusinessawards.org.uk