That may depend on who is the partner that supplies the data to Google. Is there one for that niche? If so, you could try telling Google Maps via their feedback page. They might even be in negotiations with potential suppliers, but it takes months for new partners to sign up and get integrated with G.
That may depend on who is the partner that supplies the data to Google. Is there one for that niche?...
This suggests that Google has entirely dropped its early practice of (apparently) spidering (non-subscription) sites that covered local niches and populating local results with them. While this seems to be consistent with local results I'm currently seeing, it's hard to be sure.
If Google is paying (or bartering, or whatever) for local material, then some of the concerns that Google is becoming an aggregator and cannibalizing unwilling sites may be misplaced (though perhaps other issues arise instead ;) ). I don't want to pull this discussion off topic, but how Google gets its local data is implicit in the question.
Interestingly in a query I've used for the past few weeks there's a single business occupying it, but there are thousands of local businesses that should be listed.
dertyfern - I'm wondering whether you'd had a chance to notice whether there once were local businesses listed for the query that aren't appearing now, suggesting that a change has taken place.