Mike Bird, who owns six Costcutter stores, has been fighting Tesco's application for a 10,000sq ft supermarket on the outskirts of the town since 2003.
In addition to numerous leaflet drops, petitions and residents' meetings, Mike also set up a fundraising group which enabled him to pay for the advice of a planning consultant, and for in-depth surveys to be carried out on neighbouring towns.
"The hardest thing has been getting enough funding to fight," he said. "We needed evidence of how a supermarket would affect the village and gathering it costs money. Council petitions don't hold much weight."
Local retailers, landlords, residents and the town council have supported Mike in his fight against the development, which he claims would kill local trade and cause traffic chaos, but the final decision is in the hands of East Devon District Council. A decision is expected at the beginning of December.