Traders rolled up their sleeves yesterday to remove unsightly graffiti in an attempt to encourage visitors.
Staff at Christopher Scotney, More restaurant and Crane and Walton solicitors, all in London Road, Leicester, were joined by about 20 other businesses and city wardens to scrub away spray paint and collect litter.
They made the decision after becoming sick of vandals repeatedly tagging their shops, restaurants and places of work.
Their aim is to make the parade of shops and restaurants between the railway station and Victoria Park a destination for shoppers and diners in the run-up to Christmas.
Manoj Keshavji, chairman of the newly-established London Road Business Association (LRBA) and owner of More restaurant, said: "This is just the first step in improving the area. Next, we're going to light up London Road – all the businesses are going to put something in their windows to make it feel more festive.
"Our ambition is to make London Road a destination for visitors, rather than somewhere they pass through to get to town."
The work began yesterday morning when members of the London Road Business Association met with city wardens from Leicester City Council, who handed out free clean-up kits.
The team of traders began the painstaking process at the former Cecil Jacobs shop and scrubbed their way up to Dominoes Pizza, near Evington Road.
Vimal Chauhan, chairman of the Leicester Federation of Small Businesses and owner of Drive My Car Home, based in London Road, said: "There's still some work to do, but this is a great start.
"It's coming up to Christmas and we want to be enticing people to come to London Road to dine at restaurants and shop here.
"We know the council's budgets are being stretched, so we're making things happen for ourselves."
Kam Ubhi, a solicitor at Crane and Walton Solicitors, who was also involved in the clean-up, said: "This is one of the first steps taken by the LRBA to help improve the appearance of London Road. We want to encourage all our business community to take pride in the local environment, and to help the area prosper and thrive."
Barbara Whitcombe, city wardens manager at Leicester City Council, said: "We were approached by the LRBA to see if we could offer any help following a recent spate of graffiti attacks.
"The graffiti kits will mean that business owners can quickly remove graffiti from the doors, windows and shutters of their properties."