Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Jorge Gaytan


Small businesses fail at an alarming rate, negatively affecting job creation because small business owners create a major portion of jobs in the United States. In March of 2020, 274,000 businesses failed in the United States, resulting in 76,000 lost jobs. Owners of small traditional retail stores are significantly challenged to avoid financial failure. Grounded in Schumpeter’s entrepreneurship theory, the purpose of this qualitative multiple-case study was to explore strategies owners of small traditional retail stores used to survive beyond the first 5 years of operations. Participants included five owners of small traditional retail stores in Missouri whose businesses survived beyond the first 5 years of operations. Data were collected from semistructured interviews and company documents. Thematic analysis of the data resulted in two themes: community involvement improved business visibility and the availability of financial resources generated logistical inventory and an increase in advertisement resources. A key recommendation includes improving business visibility by involving the business in community events and festivals, hosting events at the business, and conducting customer satisfaction surveys. The implications for positive social change include the potential for small business leaders to reduce failure rates of small traditional retail stores, which might lead to more tax revenues and jobs for communities.