Until recently, rural businesses have depended upon word-of-mouth advertising, captive audiences and community loyalty to maintain their market. However, greater mobility resulted in customers being diverted to stores in larger communities where attractive sales and broader selections are available. The increasing cost of fuel is now restricting travel and thus reinforcing the 'support your local enterprise' story. This means that local community businesses have the opportunity to revitalize. However, the necessary research, forecasting and management experience are often not available to take advantage of this situation. Although residents may express an interest in and a willingness to support additional services, such as a repair shop or laundromat, lack of hard market data often deters anyone from initiating such businesses. Stores often carry similar lines of merchandise, creating an oversupply of some goods and a shortage of others. Unless small town businesses find the opportunity to explore new marketing techniques, the potential local market and business from passing traffic will remain untapped.