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NIMBY? Not so Much in a Bad Economy

Americans may be supportive of small businesses, but the recession has also made them more likely to embrace large commercial development in their neighborhoods, a new study finds.

Despite a recent Gallup Poll that finds Americans are more confident in small business than they are in large corporations, additional research released this week finds they are still willing to support large businesses opening in their local communities.

Of those surveyed, 68 percent said they are more likely to support new projects in their hometown in light of the current economic situation, according to the Saint Consulting Group.  That is up nearly 10 percent from one year ago.

Opposition to several types of big retail projects continued to drop, especially when compared to attitudes measured five years ago. Opposition fell — and support increased — for a local Walmart, a large department store (Target, Kmart) and a home improvement center (Home Depot, Lowe’s).
“It is a significant trend that more Americans say they support projects and fewer are opposed,” said Patrick Fox, president of The Saint Consulting Group. “But anyone wanting to get a project approved should also know that three out of four Americans also believe their city or town is already over-developed or fine the way it is.”