Business owners who were forced to leave the city for financial survival say the earthquake prompted them to expand.
The Christchurch Chamber of Commerce says only a handful of businesses left the area, and many of these are now returning.
Ron Bollen's loyalty marketing company, Incentive Motivation, moved to Timaru after the quake.
Mr Bollen says he then expanded the company to Auckland and has also returned to Christchurch.
Fashion designer Debbie Lawson moved her business to Dunedin after her Cashel Mall store Deval collapsed, killing her friend.
But, in the past two weeks, Ms Lawson has returned to Christchurch to open another store.