WINNIPEG -- A city councillor wants to help businesses in the Exchange District struggling because of parking issues.

Parking was increased by $1.50 per hour in 2018, putting the rate at $3.50 in the Exchange District.

In late November, 67 Exchange businesses signed a petition that was sent to city hall asking for help. They said the cost of parking and lack of spaces because of new dedicated bike lanes are impacting sales

Restaurant owner Obby Khan told CTV News he's down close to six figures.

"It has been very, very bad for businesses. It's been tough, we've seen a drop of almost 20 per cent in the last two years," said Khan.

As a result, area councillor Vivian Santos tabled a motion calling for a 50 cent drop in Exchange District parking while the Winnipeg Parking Authority does a review of overall rates.

"I wanted the Exchange District people to know that they are being heard,” said Santos. “I wanted them to know that we can have this open debate.”

The councillor also wants the review to consider a sliding scale for meters in the Exchange.

CTV News asked the city how much a 50 cent decrease would cost and what it’s doing to help area businesses. It sent this statement:

“…the standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works directed the Public Service to report back by October 6 with an analysis and recommendations on potential changes to parking rates. It is premature to comment on the analysis, or potential changes to that direction from the committee. Members of the Public Service will be at the SPC-IRPW meeting on January 7 to discuss the recommendation…”

Obby Khan said dropping the parking rate by 50 cents is a start, but he says the businesses owners, shoppers, cyclists and the city need to get together to come up with an Exchange District plan that works for everyone.

"We've invested our time and money and effort and souls in here. You think it's about time the city says let’s do the same," said Khan.