What Helps Early Recovery of Disaster-Affected Small Businesses: A Case Study of a Local Cooperative Affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake
Jin Li* and Fei Zhou**,
*Disaster Prevention Information Section (Tokyo), PASCO Corporation
1-7-1 Shimomeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0064, Japan
**School of Management Studies, Shanghai University of Engineering Science, Shanghai, China
The 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake impacted many business enterprises in the tsunami affected Tohoku region. While the number of disaster related bankruptcies has been increasing in the tsunami-affected areas since 2011, one small shopping district in Natori city, Miyagi, has managed to make an early recovery from the disaster. The Yuriage Port Morning Market (YPMM), which is operated by the Yuriage Port Morning Market Cooperative (YPMMC), managed to resume business operations in its original location just two years and two months after the disaster, and the YPMM now attracts more visitors than it did before the disaster. The present study was designed to explore factors that had helped the YPMMC bring the YPMM back on track after the disaster. Results derived from interview and questionnaire surveys revealed that new business model creation and adaptation, social capital, and leadership seemed to have played significant roles in the early recovery of the YPMM. Although these factors might not have been the only factors contributing to the YPMM’s early recovery, they should have made the difference between the YPMM and other shopping districts that had failed to resume its business operations after the disaster.
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