With any luck, the areas they want to rank for are fairly small. If they're in Smallville and want to rank highly for "hubcaps in New York City" you're going to be facing an uphill battle.
If the other nearby towns aren't that big, it's likely there aren't that
many hubcap stores. (Yes, I know that's just an "for instance" example, but I'm going to run with it anyway.
) And even if there are other hubcap stores, it's likely they aren't all
highly optimized for search. Which means it really won't take that much to get decent rankings.
You'll need some content mentioning the other towns.
But, you know, it occurs to me that if they don't have a location in those other towns, ranking well for searches mentioning those towns wouldn't be too useful... UNLESS they can show how their store is nearby, an easy drive from [insert name of town].
So, how about a page (or a series of pages) giving driving directions from each nearby town where they want to rank? Right off the bat, it gets the town names in there, and it should be easy to also work in hubcap-related keywords.
Then, maybe some testimonials from people located in these towns. They could mention how complete the hubcap selection is, what a quick and easy drive it was, how pleasant the hubcap salespeople are, what great service the store provides (free hubcap installation!), etc. Lots of hubcap-related keywords... and of course, with each testimonial, you'd include the person's location, so you'd be including more mentions of each town on the site. Depending on how many you get, you could do one page showing all testimonials in a list, or a page of testimonials for each town.
If the business has a blog, it should be easy enough to write blog posts that mention these other towns. For instance, if the high school football team in the next town over wins the state championship, they could write a blog post about how disappointed they are their own hometown team didn't win, but also giving props to the winners... and maybe offering customers from both towns a discount in honor of the occasion. Or if somebody comes in to the store from one of these towns with an unusual request (say, some kind of custom-made special order hubcaps), they could write about how they fulfilled the customer's wishes (include photos of the special-order hubcaps installed on the customer's vehicle). Such a post highlights shows off their advanced services and
mentions the customer's town.
Then, co-op with a related business or two in each town. For instance, if somebody from Midvale comes in with a receipt from Midvale Tire Store, they can get a discount on your entry-level hubcaps. You mention the deal on your site (which gives you more nearby-town-related content) and get Midvale Tire to mention the deal and put a link to your website on their own site (which gives you a link from a site that's loaded
with Midvale-related content).
The bonus to this is that it can generate visitors and sales from people in Midvale even without having great search engine rankings for "hubcaps in Midvale."
I'm sure once you start thinking "around the corners" you'll find plenty of other ways to work in local oriented content and links.