PurposeIn June 2016, the first cases of Zika were reported in the USA in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami, Florida. The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a survey of Wynwood businesses about their perceptions of their financial well-being and the government and media’s responses to the Zika outbreak.Design/methodology/approachA survey instrument was developed, and 44 owners/managers of Wynwood businesses were interviewed by telephone or in-person during the period when the outbreak was being managed.FindingsBusinesses reported downturns in revenues, profits, and customer traffic following the Zika outbreak. Believing that the downturn would be temporary, few businesses laid off workers or reduced prices. All businesses reported dissatisfaction with the government’s response to the outbreak.Originality/valueThis is the first study to document the impact of Zika on businesses located in outbreak areas. The findings highlight the business impact of Zika outbreaks and suggest a need for improved communication and response from state and local governments to business concerns when future outbreaks occur.
Disaster Prevention and Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 7, 2017