The disasters wrought by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the New Orleans area in 2005 created a natural experiment to investigate recovery processes. The purpose of this thesis is twofold: On the one hand, it undertakes a survey of a specific industry to investigate the impacts on the industry and how it has managed to recover. On the other hand, this study attempts to provide a general framework for analysis and provide some answers that go beyond a particular industry and offer general validity. The framework for analysis is necessary, because no controlled experiment is possible. Specifically, what factors influenced the decisions of small businesses owners to reopen in the area affected by hurricane Katrina? What issues, circumstances, influences, pressures, support, or lack thereof did they face? Businesses in the News Orleans, Louisiana (USA), continue to face enormous challenges; hurricane Katrina was perhaps the greatest disaster to befall a U.S. city.
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