Identifying the needs of local businesses which have relocated from the city centre to residential suburbs is a critical part of moving forward for the Riccarton-Wigram Community Board this year.
As a result of the earthquakes a number of small businesses, including dentists, lawyers and accountants, have temporarily moved into the residential suburbs of Riccarton, Ilam and Avonhead.
Chairman Mike Mora said a research plan will assist the board in identifying businesses' needs rather than guessing what they are.
"It's important to maintain a balance that will be suitable for businesses and residents. We are trying to accommodate their needs. We will employ an organisation to carry out this research for us. We need facts and figures behind each need identified by businesses and community members."
Businesses are concerned with the lack of parking, high traffic volumes and zoning.
"One local business moves into these suburbs every two weeks. Businesses have bought up a raft of issues that we as a board need to address. You're moving a business that has staff from the city to a residential area. For some businesses this is just temporary accommodation until they sort out the city centre and appropriate zoning areas.
"Instead of guessing the needs, we need to find out what exactly they are. We need to see how it's working for them. It's on-going. If a local business has moved near the hub of Riccarton then we need to look at parking demand and traffic, so it doesn't have an adverse effect on an existing residential area," he said.
Identifying the communities' needs was also a priority, Mr Mora said.
An application for funding will be made through the city council's capital endowment fund, which will be discussed at this week's board meeting.