September 1, 2008

The Entrepreneur's Role in Post-Disaster Community Recovery

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Following a disaster, entrepreneurs are vital to the rebuilding of a community because they are in the best position to assess local conditions and needs.  Using information gleaned from interviews conducted in the Greater New Orleans region over the last three years, this Policy Primer examines the role that economic entrepreneurs (like business owners) play in post-disaster community recovery and describes how social entrepreneurs (like non-profit organizers) promote community resilience.

Recovery, however, is often impeded by government regulations, such as occupational licensing and historic preservation, which are excessively burdensome in the post-disaster context.  Therefore, this Policy Primer recommends that in the aftermath of a disaster, government relax non-disaster regulations in order to allow entrepreneurs, who are in the best position to assess local conditions and needs in the rapidly changing, post-disaster environment, to step in and quickly respond to the community’s needs.

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Citation (Chicago Style):

Chamlee-Wright, Emily  and Virgil Storr. "The Entrepreneur's Role in Post-Disaster Community Recovery: Implications for Post-Disaster Recovery Policy." Mercatus Policy Series, Policy Primer No. 6. Arlington, VA: Mercatus Center at George Mason University, September 2008.