If you run a local business, you can compete on the search engines in an amazing way. Google is trying hard to serve out local listings for local businesses. This gives the edge to the well thought out internet strategy presented by a real local business. Additionally, because you are in control of your business you can make fast and effective decisions to help you stay in front of the latest search engine trends.
Local search engine optimization is different than other SEO. You have different things you need to focus on, and you have a much different field of competition.