Search expert Danny Sullivan has written a great piece on small business and local search, echoing my own words here on the Open Forum blog. From his post:
I spent the past 12 years living in a small English village, where there was little need to turn to search engines if I needed help with my home. Everyone in the village knew who the plumber was, the two people who painted homes or that if you wanted a meal delivered, only one little Chinese food place would make the trip out. Dominos Pizza? Forget it.
Now I've just moved back to where I'm originally from, suburban Southern California. Getting my new house in order has sent me to search engines again and again, leaving me almost in shock at the mess I find out there.