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National Business Relocation Study

VIII. Business Interview Findings - State-by-state

BUSINESS INTERVIEW FINDINGS - BY STATE

Seven states (California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin) agreed to provide samples of their completed business relocations. Additionally, two local projects volunteered to participate (a HUD-funded project in Pittsburgh and a FTA-funded project in the San Francisco area).

Initially, the survey was to be done by mail - relocated businesses were sent a brief, short answer questionnaire and a reply envelope - and telephone interviews would follow the receipt of the questionnaire. However, a very poor response from the businesses and numerous errors in addresses forced abandonment of this system.

The process was changed to a straightforward, single-step interview at the relocated business site. Interviews were done in person, unless the business owner refused the appointment, or a personal meeting was not possible for an interviewer. Then telephone interviews were used. The formats of interview questions promoted open discussion and narrative, not only a yes or no response.

Participating agencies provided parcel summaries on the businesses that they selected for interviews. Additionally, each business was told its participation was voluntary.

Although the pool of respondents was not scientifically random, and no base or control group was examined for this study, the anecdotal reports elicited from the 178 business interviews were sufficient to substantiate reasonable conclusions. The length and substance of the interviews varied greatly, but for the most part, the businesses were very cooperative and supportive of the effort to share their experiences if their concerns could be helpful in formulating new regulations or policies.

It should be noted here that the responses obtained reflect some of the businesses' frustration of being displaced. Most of the business owners had complimentary comments regarding their dealings with various agency employees and consultants. However, for purposes of this report, we asked even those with a favorable overall response to provide us information about any weaknesses in the program or improvements they might suggest.

California
In addition to the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS), the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) was included in the interview survey to provide an example of a non-highway relocation project. Seventy-four relocation cases were reviewed in California for the study; forty-three displacees from the pool of seventy-four cases were contacted and personally interviewed. Of those contacted, thirteen chose to close their respective businesses due to a perceived financial hardship having been imposed as a result of their business displacement. An additional thirty-one businesses were never located. Replacement locations were indicated in the parcel records; however, personal inspection revealed that the businesses were not there. Contact was made, however, with sixteen adjacent businesses at the respective replacement sites. From these interviews, it was concluded those businesses either never opened or closed within the first two years. The following summarizes the most frequent and prevalent comments:
  1. Advisory Services
    A common complaint among business owners was that they were not aware of the extent of advisory services that should have been offered by the agency. When specifically asked whether their agent provided references, contacts and counseling to minimize hardships, seventy-three percent reported that they were not aware these services were available to them. A San Dimas, California, dentist who also owned and rented portions of the building in which his practice was housed stated, "CalTrans said they would help us find a location, which they didn't... ." Although all displaced businesses interviewed under the BART program were aware they had the option to appeal disputed amounts and payment types, almost half (forty-seven percent) of the businesses interviewed that were relocated by a CALTRANS project reported they were not aware an appeal was an option. The same San Dimas building owner also said, late in the relocation process, and after months of negotiations with the displacing agency, "This was the first time we heard of an appeal board. CalTrans never informed us of this process." However, many of the businesses that stated they were not aware of the advisory and appeal provisions acknowledged that they had in their possession printed materials that explained these options. They had apparently not read the material.

  2. Reestablishment Expenses
    The reestablishment payment maximum in California, as in most other states, remains at $10,000. This often does not cover the total costs of reestablishing a business including code related cost modifications. Fifty percent of BART interviewees and fifty-five percent of CALTRANS interviewees reported code-related costs at their replacement sites that were not covered by the $10,000 reestablishment limit. For instance, a restaurant relocated by a BART project in South San Francisco incurred approximately $200,000 in health and safety code modifications, which BART initially refused to pay. BART later agreed to pay these costs, although the agency was not certain of federal participation. In another case, a rental car agency displaced in San Bruno, California, by a BART project incurred approximately $300,000 in seismic, ADA, landscape and other local code requirements. These costs were rejected when first submitted to BART. The relocating business appealed, and after more than six months of negotiations, BART agreed to pay these expenses without assurance of federal participation.

    Since the current regulations place build-out at the replacement site under the heading of reestablishment, there is little if any, of the $10,000 remaining for most businesses to cover code-related modification costs.

  3. Search Expenses
    Of those who were aware they could apply for reimbursement of search costs, seventy-five percent of the CALTRANS respondents indicated the payment was adequate, and one hundred percent of the BART respondents indicated the payment was not adequate. However, the real estate options in the BART displacement area were atypical and very limited. One BART displacee reported that a search for his replacement site became a "full-time job" and took more than 300 hours of his time. Another BART displacee indicated that if the level of advisory assistance were expanded and a "competent" agent actually assisted in the search for a replacement, then a $1,000 limit might be sufficient.

    A comment offered by forty-six percent of all respondents was that they were not compensated for time lost as a result of the actual move or for the loss of business as a result of the relocation (downtime). These are presently non-compensable items under the federal program.

  4. Closed Businesses
    Forty-four of the displaced businesses in California had ceased their business operations by the time of the survey; thirty-one of those business owners were never located. Thirteen businesses were closed but the business owners were successfully located. Eleven of the thirteen closed businesses that were interviewed reported they were forced to close due to increased rent at the replacement location. These include a bar-restaurant in San Francisco, whose rent at the only available replacement site was increasing from $2,400 to $4,500 per month and a barbershop, also in San Francisco (with an average annual profit of $6,400) where the replacement site rent was going to be $1,000 per month, a $630 monthly increase. The remaining two businesses reported zoning related issues as the primary reason for not relocating their businesses.

    Of the thirty-one business owners that could not be located, minimal information was obtained for sixteen businesses through interviews with adjacent business owners. Interviews indicate that seven business owners that were technically relocated never opened for business at the replacement site. Three of those seven businesses did secure signage and made an attempt to prepare the business for reopening. It was not possible to obtain factual data explaining why those businesses chose not to reopen. Nine additional businesses did open at the replacement location, but ultimately chose to close within the two-year period between displacement and this study. Adjacent business owners reported increased rent as the primary reason the businesses chose to close; however, this information is conjecture, since those affected business owners were not contacted.

    Some of the California businesses interviewed in this study were partially protected from major rent increases either by terms of their leases or by governmental rent control, thus paying well below market rent in their displacement locations. Once displaced, however, they were forced to compete in the market rent arena with all other businesses searching for space. At a minimum, each business reported its rent would have doubled. In some locations, the rent would have tripled or quadrupled.

    One bar owner had been at his displacement location for more than twenty years. He reported that during his eight-month search he was able to locate one inferior site that would have increased his monthly rental from $2,400 a month to $6,300 per month. He felt strongly that due to California's high cost of living, the Relocation Program should include rental assistance for tenant-business owners.

California Summary
The pervasive comment among the majority of business owners interviewed in California is that the skyrocketing real estate industry does not allow an established business the opportunity for a successful relocation without huge financial implications. Rents are reported to double, triple and sometimes quadruple when a business is forced to move. This rent increase affects the pocket of all businesses, but smaller businesses are more vulnerable and less able to sustain the increased rent costs. As evidenced by the thirty-one businesses have ceased their business operations, higher rents in California are a primary reason that displaced businesses are forced to close, or choose not to reopen. The reestablishment payment maximum of $10,000 is cited as an additional impediment to the successful relocation of many businesses. The majority of both CALTRANS and BART participants reported code related cost modifications well in excess of the $10,000 limit. Most business owners said that if the state had contributed toward the increased rent and increased the maximum for the reestablishment payment, their chance for a successful relocation would have been greatly enhanced. Florida
Sixty-seven business relocation cases were reviewed in Florida for the study. Fifty-two were contacted and interviewed. Thirty-three interviews were conducted in person. An additional nineteen interviews were conducted by telephone. Of those directly contacted, one owner reported that he chose to close his business rather than relocate it. Another business owner reported that she closed her business after seven months of operation at the replacement location. Fifteen businesses were never found at their relocation sites. Contact was made however, with six adjacent business owners at the respective replacement sites. By deduction or reports by neighboring businesses, it was determined that these six dislocated businesses either never opened or closed within two years. The following summarizes the predominant remarks garnered through interviews:
  1. Advisory Services
    The majority of businesses interviewed in Florida were aware that there is an advisory assistance program for relocating businesses. A common complaint among business owners however, was that the agents assigned to their cases did not seem interested in assisting the businesses or were not qualified to provide meaningful assistance. Eighty-three percent of those requesting assistance in finding a replacement location reported their agents offered little or no useful assistance in securing the relocation site.

    Another complaint heard from many business owners was they were not adequately informed of the project itself. Many owners reported the "rumor mill" fueled a general anxiety. One suggestion for future state projects from relocated business owners and operators was for the displacing agency to host general information sessions. This would allow the public to meet directly with representatives of the displacing agency. Some business owners believed this might also curtail the "he said - she said" phenomenon that occurred during their relocation projects. Another suggestion was that the agency should utilize outdoor advertising (billboards) located near the project site announcing which businesses will be displaced, and, when appropriate, the new business locations.

    Those businesses that reported a decrease in revenues after their move largely attributed the decrease to the public's inability to locate the business at its relocated site. Repeatedly, the solution offered was additional funding for advertising from the dislocating agency.

  2. Search Expenses
    Of those who applied for reimbursement for search expenses, sixty-two percent indicated the current limit of $1,000 was sufficient to cover their costs. However, a majority of the businesses interviewed indicated they were not reimbursed for search expenses. It is unclear whether the businesses were unaware a search expenses benefit existed or that they chose not to apply for it. As noted above, many businesses did not feel they were adequately informed of their rights as business owners or the benefits available to them. However, many businesses still were in possession of the agency's relocation brochure providing such information.

  3. Reestablishment Expense
    The opinion of most business owners in Florida, as in California, is that the $10,000 maximum payment for reestablishment expenses is often not sufficient to cover the total costs of reestablishing a business, including advertising and code-related cost modifications. Thus, a business is burdened with higher costs - those unreimbursed expenses - while it often suffers a temporary loss of clientele due to the move. Businesses that reported a decrease in business profitability after their move often reported the reason as being additional costs incurred as a result of code-related issues.

    One business owner reported at his relocation site that ADA guidelines required modification of two bathrooms which alone cost the business $13,00 and there were additional code-related costs that were well above the maximum allowed under the reestablishment payment. Actual reestablishment expenses (not verified) among Florida interviewees ranged from $200 to $70,000.

  4. Closed Businesses
    Among the relocation case files reviewed in Florida, fifteen had ceased their business operations at the time of the survey and could not be located. Six business owners adjacent to the closed businesses reported the businesses had opened but closed within the first two years. Since the owners of the closed businesses could not be located, the underlying reasoning for closure can only be speculated. However, two former owners were located and interviewed. One, an elderly gentleman, chose not to relocate his business due to his age and failing health. Another business owner was forced to close after seven months at the replacement site due to increased rent, less highway visibility and cost of code modifications.

Florida Summary
Twenty-nine percent of businesses interviewed in Florida reported an increase in business after their relocations. Most attributed the increase to a location with better traffic flow, more access and increased parking. Although some businesses commended their relocation agents for their assistance and professional expertise, the majority of those interviewed expressed disappointment in their agents. Concerning relocation assistance, Florida business owners repeatedly commented: Forty-nine percent of those interviewed reported having code related cost modifications at their replacement sites. The amounts reported (not verified) ranged from $200 to more than $70,000. It is conceivable that relocation expenses contributed to the fifteen business closures but there is no evidence to verify this speculation. Louisiana
Twelve relocation cases were reviewed in Louisiana for this study. All businesses were contacted and personally interviewed. Of the twelve businesses reviewed, one was forced to close due to a financial hardship resulting from their relocation. The remaining businesses were in operation. The following summarizes the most frequently heard comments:
  1. Advisory Services
    The majority of businesses interviewed, sixty-four percent did not request specific advisory assistance services, although they were aware of such. Among all businesses interviewed, the major complaint was a generalized concern about the "quality of information" that was provided, although the businesses acknowledged the accessibility of the state relocation agent. Comments that were often heard included:

    • "I would like to get 'straight' answers with regard to when I will actually be moved;"

    • "My agent provided contradictory information;"

    • "The agent did not appear to have any authority in the field;" and,

    • "I never really understood what my entire benefits package was."

    Unlike comments heard in other states included in the study, the relocated business owners' opinions in Louisiana suggest that the relocation agents were motivated to assist. However, the majority of business owners believed their agent was not adequately qualified, creating the impression among business owners that they were on their own.

  2. Reestablishment Expenses
    Like business owners in California and Florida, almost two-thirds of business owners interviewed in Louisiana believe the payment limit of $10,000 is not sufficient to successfully relocate and reestablish a business. One business owner proposed the state pay actual costs incurred by the business owner, including code-related cost modification, loss of business, and reestablishment. Fifty percent of businesses interviewed reported having code-related cost modifications at their replacement sites.

    Two business owners questioned if adjustments were made in the reestablishment payment limit to address inflation.

  3. Search Expenses
    Of those who applied for reimbursement of search costs, all but one business owner indicated the current limit of $1,000 was sufficient to cover their costs.

Louisiana Summary
Like business owners in California and Florida, business owners in Louisiana expressed some dissatisfaction with the relocation agents assigned to facilitate their moves. Many business owners felt that the agents were motivated to assist the businesses and were very friendly. However, a general lack of knowledge, inexperience, and misinformation prompted most business owners to feel they were on their own in the relocation process. Five business owners (forty two percent) indicated that a payment for "loss of business" during the relocation process would have mitigated the decrease in business realized immediately after the relocation. None of the twelve businesses interviewed reported an increase in business after the relocation. One Louisiana business owner was forced to close his business within a year of the relocation due to the costs incurred for modifications at the replacement location; he was not paid a reestablishment payment. The business owner incurred more than $40,000 (not verified) of debt to modify the replacement. This business owner offered modification costs and the inferior location of the displacement site as the primary factors leading to the closure. Although the business owner indicated the payments were not adequate to move and reestablish his business (question 3.a.), he did respond he felt he was treated fairly by the displacing agency (question 8). One relocation appeal resulted in the extension of the state's "full extent... " provision to a tenant business. The "full extent" clause is a provision in Louisiana law that allows payment for unusual damages. As a result of this successful appeal, the business owner's reestablishment payment was increased to $31,000. New Jersey
Twelve relocation cases were reviewed in New Jersey for this study. All businesses were contacted and personally interviewed. One seventy-four-year-old business owner chose to retire rather than reestablish his business. Also, an automobile dealership and body shop chose not to reestablish the body shop portion of the business after relocation, explaining that an adequate replacement site was not available and the immediate area was fully developed, thus precluding new construction. The following summarizes the preponderance of comments from New Jersey:
  1. Advisory Services
    According to the interviews, the agents in New Jersey provided useful assistance in advising business operators of financial benefits, needed notices and help with preparing and processing claims. However, businesses interviewed reported that relocation agents provided little assistance in locating replacement sites. None of the twelve business owners interviewed credited the agency as being instrumental in finding a replacement location.

  2. Reestablishment Expenses
    Of those businesses claiming a reestablishment payment, all but one claimed the maximum reestablishment payment, yet each spent substantially more, either from cash reserves or through financing, to reestablish their businesses. One business, an automobile transmission shop in Jersey City, reported spending more than $550,000 at its replacement location, approximately one-half of which was build-out costs. In Bergen, New Jersey, a stage production equipment company spent just under $200,000 at the replacement site to bring the building into compliance with current code requirement, including modifications to entrances and restrooms, and changes to meet current requirements for fire and occupancy codes. Another business owner borrowed $100,000 from the Economic Development Agency to adequately modify the replacement location for his men's clothing store in Paramus, New Jersey. The business owner reported however, that even with the loan, the total expenses of moving and reestablishing exceeded all relocation benefits received.

  3. Search Expenses
    All businesses reported the $1,000 search expense maximum was inadequate to compensate for the actual cost of locating a replacement site. Several small proprietorships reported searching potential areas for periods stretching from a few months to several years. In addition to the direct costs (two indicated the $1,000 did not pay for the gasoline), the indirect costs to small businesses were greater. The time diverted from business and supervising operations was particularly damaging.

New Jersey Summary
The interview reports reflect the inadequacy of the $10,000 maximum limit of the reestablishment benefit. Most businesses claimed the maximum but spent substantially more from their own resources or by taking on business and personal debt. Some displacees characterized their participation in the relocation process as very stressful and expressed a sense of powerlessness when dealing with the state. The search expense maximum was determined inadequate to compensate for the actual cost of locating a replacement site. The small sole proprietorships in particular had difficulties. Several described driving about likely areas during periods of time ranging from months to several years. The direct cost was significant. In particular, the time diverted from business and supervising operations was damaging to business. North Carolina
Fourteen relocation cases were reviewed in North Carolina for this study, and all fourteen were contacted and personally interviewed. Of the fourteen, one business owner chose to retire rather than reestablish his business. Another small business owner could not afford the fifty percent increase in rent that would be required at his preferred relocation site. He felt he was forced to discontinue his business and work for someone else. The following summarizes the most common comments made by business owners interviewed in North Carolina.
  1. Advisory Services
    There was extensive and useful assistance provided by the agents in advising business operators of financial benefits, providing information on the project and the schedule, and providing needed notices, and helping with preparing and processing claims. There was little assistance provided in locating replacement sites. None of the business owners interviewed credited the agency as being instrumental in finding a replacement location; however, they did feel that the agents were knowledgeable and helpful.

  2. Reestablishment Expenses
    Business owners in North Carolina generally offered the same comments on the adequacy of reestablishment payments as were received in other states. Of those businesses claiming a reestablishment payment, fifty percent had actual costs that exceeded the permissible reimbursement. One business owner reported that relocation caused his rent to double from $2,000 to $4,000 per month. With the increased rent and other real expenses associated with reestablishing the business, the business owner felt compelled to discontinue the business and seek employment with another company. Another small business, a plumbing and heating contractor in Greensboro, North Carolina could not locate an affordable replacement in the immediate area where he had enjoyed a large "walk-in" clientele. As a result, he moved the business fifteen miles to the basement of his home. The business owner reported he has lost the majority of his former customer base and has not yet developed new clientele because of limits on advertising reimbursements.

  3. Search Expenses
    The business operators claiming a search expense did not offer any negative comments regarding the adequacy of the search expense payment, although one business operator in Greensboro reported spending approximately $15,000 for water, soil and environmental analysis and zoning and planning evaluations on three prospective sites.

North Carolina Summary
Business owners in North Carolina reported that their relocation agents were not instrumental in securing replacement sites. However, the business owners who were interviewed said the agents were very helpful with providing notices and assisting with the preparation of claims. Unlike some of the other states, business owners expressed confidence in their relocation agents' knowledge of policies and procedures. As reported in all the states surveyed, business owners in North Carolina were dissatisfied with the reestablishment payment program and would like to see expanded categories of reimbursable expenses and higher limits. They should also be compensated for lost revenue due to "downtime." Ohio
Eighteen relocation cases were reviewed in Ohio for this study. All businesses were contacted and personally interviewed. Fifty percent of the business owners claimed actual moving costs and a reestablishment payment. The other fifty percent claimed a fixed payment. Three of the eighteen business owners reported their businesses were forced to close due to the financial situation created by their relocation. The following summarizes the most frequently offered comments from relocated Ohio business owners:
  1. Advisory Services
    The majority of business owners surveyed reported that their agents provided adequate advisory services. One business owner reported, " ...my relocation assistant was invaluable in giving advice during the move, assisting in the compilation and filing of the necessary documentation and exercising due diligence and persistence in the completion of the paperwork in a timely manner." However, another commented that the agents exhibited a "take-it-or-leave-it" approach to their relocations. One business owner commented that it seemed the agents were trained only to provide offers and written information, not to help people.

  2. Reestablishment Expenses
    Nine of the eighteen businesses interviewed in Ohio claimed an in lieu payment instead of the actual cost and reestablishment payment. Three business owners claimed the maximum amounts of reestablishment payments, and one of those three reported that the payment was inadequate to cover the actual reestablishment of his business.

    One Ohio business was required to make code-related modifications at its relocation site that exceeded the $10,000 cap.

  3. Search Expenses
    No business owners interviewed reported claiming a search payment. When asked, "What additional services could the displacing agency offer to lessen the impact of business displacements?" several business owners reported they felt they should have been compensated for their time and expenses while searching for a replacement site, which creates the presumption that they had not been informed of a search payment option.

Ohio Summary
The sample of displaced businesses reviewed in Ohio reflects a different option for pay out of the business move. About one half of the sample businesses in Ohio chose a fixed payment move instead of an actual cost move. This fixed payment is an available option for most business moves. Several of the businesses that elected this option felt the payment was inadequate. However, the payment is administratively simple and is often elected by a business for that reason. State agency representatives expressed their concerns about the adequacy of fixed payments in their responses to their questionnaires. Pennsylvania - City of Pittsburgh
Five relocation cases were reviewed in the City of Pittsburgh for this study. Four businesses reported they were forced to close due to a financial hardship resulting from their displacements. One business, a bookkeeping service, relocated into the owner's home and reports a sharp decline in profits because of loss of clientele from the project area. All businesses were contacted and personally interviewed. The following summarizes the comments from Pittsburgh interviews:
  1. Advisory Services
    The majority of business owners surveyed reported they were not satisfied with the level of assistance provide by their agent. One business owner commented that his agent was always available but was not very helpful. Another business owner indicated his agent wanted to be helpful, but due to the "program being a mess," agents were limited as to the level of support they could provide.

  2. Reestablishment Payments
    Only one business owner applied for a reestablishment payment; she claimed the categories of allowable costs were too restrictive to cover all of her actual reestablishment expenses.

  3. Search Payment
    Two businesses claimed reimbursement for search expenses; both believed the amount was inadequate to cover their actual search expenses.

City of Pittsburgh Summary
One business out of the five surveyed was able to sustain itself by moving the business to the business owner's home. Among the four businesses that closed, higher rents at potential replacement locations and inadequate reestablishment payments were offered as the main reasons the businesses decided to close. Several business owners reported the project acquisition sequence caused a hardship for the local businesses. In this particular program, the residential property was acquired prior to the commercial parcels. Two businesses, a deli/restaurant and a bar, reportedly relied heavily on the adjacent neighborhood to sustain their business. Once the residential purchase program commenced, their businesses immediately began to decline. One business owner recommended better coordination within the agency to identify local businesses and start the business purchase program simultaneously with the residential program. The displacing agency conducting this project used a "tangible property loss" payment calculation to maximize the funds available to businesses that chose not to continue in operation. This approach is not often seen, as the more common method is to use the fixed payment option; however, the results clearly benefited the displaced business in this instance. Wisconsin
Twelve relocation cases were reviewed in Wisconsin for this study. All businesses were contacted and personally interviewed. Wisconsin was an early pioneer in providing expanded benefits to displaced businesses. The state uses a dual system distinguishing between owner-businesses (those where the business owner also owns the real estate utilized by the business) and tenant-businesses. In Wisconsin, an owner-business can receive a payment of up to $50,000 and a tenant-business can receive up to $30,000 to assist in purchasing a replacement location. In reality, these payments function as enhanced reestablishment. In addition to these payments, a business could also be eligible for the full $10,000 of federal reestablishment payments. As a result of the expanded benefits in this state, the majority of business owners did feel they were treated fairly and compensated fairly by the displacing agency. The following summarizes the comments of relocated Wisconsin business owners:
  1. Advisory Services
    The majority of businesses interviewed (fifty-seven percent) did request specific advisory assistance services from their agents and were satisfied with the level of service they received. Fifty percent of business owners interviewed reported their agents offered assistance in locating a replacement site and seventy-one percent also indicated the agent provided references and contacts.

    Unlike business owners in most other states included in the study, the businesses in Wisconsin felt their agents were knowledgeable and qualified to assist. A building supply firm in Holman, Wisconsin, said it was pleased with the services it received from the agency and the financial benefits it received during its relocation. Its negative comment was that the agency was not familiar enough with the requirements of its particular business to offer meaningful assistance in locating possible replacement sites.

    Another Wisconsin business owner reported that he had two different agents working with him during his relocation. He recommended only one agent be assigned to each business owner to prevent conflicting information, confusion and delays.

  2. Reestablishment Payment
    In Wisconsin, the reestablishment payment may be augmented by a state authorized payment titled a Business Replacement Payment (BRP). Typically, displaced businesses are eligible for this expanded benefit.

    As a result of the expanded benefits available from the state, eighty-three percent of business owners reported they felt the payments were adequate to move and reestablish their businesses. Fifty-seven percent of business owners reported an increase in profits since their relocation. Reasons cited include securing larger buildings in better locations, securing more attractive and efficient buildings with more usable space and being able to relocate to a better market area. Business owners reported that many have been able to increase their employment, which may have been a response to general economic conditions.

  3. Search Expenses
    The business operators claiming a search expense had no negative comments regarding the adequacy of the payment.

Wisconsin Summary
Because of the significantly larger percentage of satisfied relocated businesses in Wisconsin, as compared to other states, it seems the expanded benefits program contributes to the likelihood of businesses surviving and thriving after relocation by a public agency. The consensus of business owners in Wisconsin was that they were treated fairly and were adequately compensated by the displacing agency. The Wisconsin staff also recognized the advantages of this expanded benefit program. However, the successful relocations reported here may also have benefited from the generally positive economic conditions in their area.

Updated: 04/02/2013
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