This paper examines four businesses that were located in Christchurch's CBD prior to the earthquake on February 22, 2011. Immediately following the quake Christchurch's CBD was cordoned off and for many Christchurch businesses it was necessary to find new premises in an environment of extreme uncertainty and very limited information. The four businesses used in this study were all required to relocate, however the specifics of their situations differed. All four businesses examined were larger professional services firms (lawyers, accountants, architects or engineers) who had a national presence. Given the limited number of suitable and available properties speed was of the essence in relocating. Through the four cases we explore how rapidly each firm initiated and completed the relocation process and the factors influencing their speed. We examine the means by which new premises were secured and the plans in regard to immediate and longer term business location. Finally, we explore the impact of relocation and the earthquake more broadly for these firms. The results obtained highlight the differences between the firms based on both initial conditions and the way each firm managed the process.
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