Empty shops are to be let for £1 a week by Liverpool City Council, following the success of its Homes for a Pound initiative.
Local entrepreneurs are being invited to repair and refurbish 12 vacant retail units into viable news businesses at a cost of £1 a week for three years. After that, the council will charge commercial rates on the units.
The council said it will only consider proposals for businesses that do not compete with existing local businesses and certain retailers such as gambling establishments and fast food takeaways will not be allowed to bid.
The council's cabinet member for business, enterprise and investment, cllr Gary Millar, said: 'Shops and businesses are a vital and integral part of a successful local community.
'This is about giving people with great ideas and a solid business plan the chance to get their venture off the ground without having to worry about rental costs in the first three years.'