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Forbes reports that one year into the recession, community resistance to the building of Walmart stores has subsided to some degree, who see the chain as one of the few engines left for economic development.

One study, conducted by the Saint Consulting Group, says that while 68 of survey respondents said they were anti-Walmart two years ago, that number is down to 56 percent. However, the group also says that people sometimes respond differently when the Walmart actually is going into their neighborhood.

The story goes on, “Al Norman, the activist behind Sprawl-busters.com, says the level of community resistance to Wal-Mart has spiked sharply, not dropped. He says he expects at least 40% of any superstores that Wal-Mart proposes this year to be challenged, delayed or killed.

“But the economy would appear to be helping Wal-Mart in its bid to promote supporters and minimize noisy opponents. The latter get firepower from groups and Web sites including Sprawl-busters.com, which describes how dozens of communities have fought off Wal-Marts.”

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