Civil Defence says extensive demolition work on Lyttelton's main thoroughfare should be finished in time for remaining businesses to reopen on 3 May.
Nearly 20 commercial buildings on London St have been, or will be, demolished because of the February earthquake.
Some of the businesspeople whose premises have been affected are finding innovative ways to stay afloat.
The Lyttelton Coffee Company's insurance policy prevents it from trading from an alternative venue but its staff have borrowed coffee machines and are sharing with the Loons entertainment venue to keep themselves in work.
Other businesses have set up caravans in the town's main street.