Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Business Analytics

Major Professor

A. J. Gray

Committee Members

George Bowen, Robert Wilson


The purpose of this thesis was to study the consequences of displacement caused by urban renewal and highway construction on minority businesses in the city of Knoxville, Tennessee. Efforts were made to find out: (1) What happens to business establishments when they have been forced to move to another location; (2) To what extent does dis­ location lead to business failures; (3) What minority businessmen perceive to be-their problems and needs; (4) What are the characteristics of owners of those businesses that did not survive the move as compared to those that successfully relocated; (5) What are the major problems encountered by minority businessmen when they attempt to relocate.

A total of 71 names of displaced minority businessmen were obtained from the Knoxville Urban League, the Knoxville Community Development Corporation, and the State Highway Department (61 of the 71 businessmen were included in the study). These businessmen were all displaced from the Morningside and the Mountain View urban renewal area between 1964 and 1974.

In order to gather data for the study, a combined structured and unstructured questionnaire was designed containing 84 questions. Each businessman was personally interviewed by the author who read each question and recorded the responses.

Comparisons of those businesses that did not survive the move to those that successfully relocated was included in the analysis. The Single Variable Statistical Utility Program, the Two-Way Frequency Distribution Analysis, and the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences were the computer programs used to analyze the data. Frequency distributions, percentages, cross-classifications, median, and mode were all used to summarize and present the data.

It was found that the ability to survive displacement varied by the type of business and the age of the businessman. The non-survival rate was higher among the eating and drinking, food stores, miscellaneous retail and service establishments, and businessmen 55 years of age and older. These businesses depended upon customers living near the business site. Upon displacement more than half of the 33 non-survivors made the decision to go out of business because they felt they could not afford to start business over again. Others reported their main reason for discontinuing their businesses, after being forced to move, was that they were unable to find another location that would serve the same customers. Still others reported the high cost of buildings and rentals forced them out of business.

There was no relationship shown between fair compensation before or after the 1970 Uniform Relocation Act and the survival or non-survival of the businessmen. It was also found that: annual income before displacement had no relationship to the businessmen's survival or non-survival; and, monthly rents before displacement were revealed to have had no relationship to the survival or non-survival of the businessmen. Despite the greater emphasis placed on money by the 1970 Uniform Relocation Act, more emphasis was needed on the relocation of displaced businessmen. While physical and monetary factors did present a problem, the inability to adapt to change was another reason for the loss of many minority businesses.

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