Date of Conferral



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




Marilyn K. Simon


Many small business owners lack strategies needed to prevent permanent business closure in the wake of extreme natural disaster situations. After a natural disaster, small businesses suffer financial losses in millions of dollars related to damage and destruction that disrupt their lives, families, and communities. This multiple case study explored strategies that 5 small business owners in northeastern Florida used to avoid permanent business closure in the aftermath of a natural disaster. The theory of planned behavior and vested interest theory were the conceptual frameworks used in this multiple case study. In-depth interviews with purposively selected small business owners were supplemented with a review of documentation from archival records. Yin's 5-step analysis guided the coding process of participants' responses, and member checking was used to validate the transcribed data. The major themes of the study revealed the owners' strategies relating to flood barriers, maintaining adequate insurance coverage, damage and destruction aftermath, and experience with natural disasters. This study's implications for social change include contributing to social stability and continuing economic growth by benefitting small business owners without a natural disaster plan or a plan that needs updating, new small business owners, and community organizations. This study may benefit small businesses by providing lessons learned on how to survive natural disasters.

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