Early this week Google announced that Google Local Business Center is now Google Places. There are lots of changes associated with this announcement and you can read all about them through the link above.
The biggest factors I see for small businesses are that you no longer have to have a physical office to add your company to their directory. With these changes Google will allow you to identify a service area and if you work from home or you travel around and don’t really have an office you have the ability to make your address private.
That is going to really open things up for the freelancer and work at home professional.