Kettering Council has promised to meet struggling traders to discuss how to promote a heavily independent area of the town centre.
The move comes after traders in Market Street asked the council if they could use the vacant 1 Horsemarket unit to promote their businesses in the run-up to Christmas.
But the council declined this request, as a local artists group has been given a licence to showcase its work at the unit.
But council officers have said they will meet traders to discuss promoting that part of town, with retailers concerned over the lack of footfall.
Keely Jones, owner of The Dolls House Store, in Market Street, said: “It seemed that any suggestion was not good enough for the council and it’s a shame it has taken the Telegraph’s story for them to come and talk to us, but we’re all positive now.
“We’re quite optimistic for the future now that we have a point of contact.”
A council spokesman said: “Unfortunately this request came after the licence was issued to the artists so, although an excellent idea, it was an offer that was a little too late to accept on this occasion.”