Or, what I think local businesses should do:
a) join this forum and say hi
b) Set up a facebook page. Couple of decent photographs, phone number, opening hours, explanation of what you do, menu if you are a restaurant.
c) Set up a twitter account. Tweet specials, sales, etc...
d) Use all to ask people what you should stock, when they'd like you to open, etc..,
e) consider going upmarket. There is still nowhere round here that sells a decent selection of cheese or good children's clothes. The jumpers over shirts/hipster crowd have their flaws but they (we?) also have the money.