Southern California's small retailers and businesses -- the ones that survived the recession -- are finding it easier to expand with the market's current low rents. These firms are stepping into space that once might have been occupied by national retailers such as Starbucks -- retailers that have been closing or consolidating space. "There are a number of factors that actually all work in favor of that small-business owner that didn't exist before," says Derrick Moore, with CB Richard Ellis in Los Angeles.

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