I was walking downtown in Campbell among the local businesses at the farmers market, and saw quite a few great local merchants, like GrendelSweets. Campbell has done a great job of protecting a real downtown area in the middle of one of the largest metro areas in the country. Reminds me a lot of the Alan Jackson sound on the little man. One of the lines goes something like this...
Now the court square's just a set of streets
That the people go round but they seldom think
Bout the little man that built this town
Before the big money shut em down
And killed the little man
Oh the little man
You just have to wonder what happens if small merchants don't find ways to innovate and take on the big box stores out there, leaving the local streets with none of the businesses built by the little man.