Local authorities have the unpleasant job of telling people no in many instances, and businesses are often the ones hearing it the most. A small company may want a particular location, but the zoning does not fit their particular industry. They may have to get a variance, but it will take time. The problem they could run into is that a variance will be denied, so it is important to locate their business in the zone that is just right for them.
Zoning laws were originally passed to help keep property usage within reason, and they are enforced in almost every location. A business that does retail or light manufacturing might consider a street corner near a large sub-division to be ideal, but what they create or sell might not fit into the local laws. They could apply for an exception, or they might be able to find a location that works better for their business.
Getting zoning changes passed can be easy if an area is no longer viable when it comes to taxes, but choosing to place a business in that type of area has its own risks. Until other businesses are willing to move in, the local traffic could be low. Some customers might not wish to travel to that area of town if a lot of construction is planned, or they could decide to find a business carrying the same type of goods in a closer location. All of these factors must be considered before a business makes their final selection.
Moving is generally not easy on a business or a residential basis, but it does have to be done in some cases. Businesses often realize they need to move well before they are squeezed out of their current location. It can be helpful if they are able to find a lot where they can build their business from the ground up, but they will have to consider the future needs of their company, the availability of traffic, and they must deal with the local zoning laws.