Trends in small towns illustrate that community support of local businesses is the key to retaining the business district as an economically viable service centre. Community spending power is a valuable local resource. This is seen when the rapid growth of commercial centres surrounding small towns brings with it a decline in commercial services available in the small towns themselves. The declining customer base makes competitive options less and less available to local businesses. Many community residents are probably related to neighbouring towns through school, work or entertainment, and often do their shopping while there. Although local commercial establishments may attempt to provide basic necessities, lack of space and the necessity to buy in small quantities limit variety in all areas; finding that all their needs cannot be met locally many families go to other areas and do all their shopping in one weekly trip, including those items which would be available locally. Residents will express dissatisfaction at the lack of variety, quality and competitive prices for some items, not realizing that their own out-of-town shopping is at the root of the problem.