The purpose of this paper is to analyse the performance of two similar small businesses in seeking resource consent to expand their operations. The proposed developments are examples of locally unwanted land use. Why did one project proceed as planned, and the other project experience expensive delays? The different outcomes are examined from three perspectives: stakeholder theory, the NIMBY phenomena and the legislative framework. The paper then suggests approaches to address the growing problem of community resistance that can threaten small business development. The paper contributes to the literature by providing new insights into the complex relationship between stakeholder theory, the NIMBY phenomena and the legislative framework.