Historically, business location decisions have
been analyzed and decided on the basis of predominantly economic
criteria. While that still appears to be the case, an increasing
number of businesses and business owners may be considering crime as a
factor in making business relocation decisions. There were three key
objectives to this study: (1) to determine the relative importance of
crime-related as well as business-related factors in business
relocation decisions, including business ownership, type of business,
and business size, (2) to ascertain how businesses respond to crime
and fear of crime, such as by moving, adding more security, requesting
police protection, or cooperating with other businesses, and (3) to
identify the types of crime prevention information and assistance that
businesses currently need and to assess the roles of business
associations and police departments in providing enhanced crime
From November 1995 through February 1996 a mail
survey was distributed to a sample of three different groups of
businesses in Austin's 14 highest crime ZIP codes. The groups
consisted of: (1) businesses that remained within the same ZIP code
between 1990 and 1993, (2) new firms that either moved into a
high-crime ZIP code area between 1990 and 1993 or were created in a
high-crime ZIP code between 1990 and 1993, and (3) businesses that
relocated from high-crime ZIP code areas to other locations in
Austin's metropolitan area or elsewhere in Texas.
All businesses in the Austin, Texas, Metropolitan
Variables include type of business, ownership of
business, number of employees, reasons for moving or staying in
neighborhood, types of crime that affected business, owner's response
to business crime, customer safety, and the role of business
associations and the police in preventing crime.
The overall response rate was 18 percent. The
response rate was 15 percent for Movers (Part 1), 15 percent for New
Businesses (Part 2), and 22 percent for Stayers (Part 3).
Several Likert-type scales were used.