Small Business Responses to Reduce Impacts from Natural Disasters

Lenox Lemar Godfrey, Walden University

Abstract

Florida is a hurricane-prone state, and not all small business owners are prepared to survive in the wake of a hurricane or flood event, as only 14% of small business owners prepare for natural disasters compared to 44.9% for large corporations. Small business owners can enhance the survivability of their companies with well prepared disaster plans. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore strategies 5 small business owners in northwest Florida implemented to avoid permanent business closure after a natural disaster. The conceptual framework was the theory of planned behavior. Data were collected through interviews with 5 small business owners; company documentation served as a secondary data collection source. Yin's 5-step analysis process was used to analyze the data. Themes from responses were property insurance coverage, business continuity, disaster recovery plans, cloud computing, and remote working. The implications for positive social change include the potential to minimize unemployment, provide economic growth, and add stability to both the local and state economies. A well-planned disaster preparedness plan could reduce the number of days employees of small businesses would be out of work, keeping the local community thriving.