This paper examines some of the Spanish coastal management policies that have relevance for the small business enterprises located on the sea-front. Physical protection of the coast through erosion control programmes and urban planning policies are considered, with special emphasis on the 1988 Shores Act that attempts to treat coastal planning more holistically than has historically been the case. Business awareness and response to the coastal actions are investigated through a survey of 150 small businesses in four localities on the Costa del Sol. Results indicate a lack of universal understanding and approval of management policies and objectives, although significant geographical variations exist in views expressed. Forced relocation of businesses has influenced attitudes, as have perceptions that money has not been effectively spent. However, there is clearly much misunderstanding of work that has been effected, and much might be gained through improved dissemination of information by both local authorities, regional and central government to a business community whose livelihood is very much dependent upon an attractive and well-managed coastal environment.

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