Reforms by the small business in Haiti from 2010-2015



Reforms by the small business in Haiti from 2010-2015


The 2010 Haiti earthquake which happened on the West Indian Island of Hispaniola resulted in significant negative implications to the people of Haiti. Although an exact number of deaths that came as a result of the earthquake remains elusive, the Haiti government estimates that about 300,000 people lost their lives with hundreds of thousands getting displaced (Salam & Khan, 2020). The earthquake resulted in a total collapse of Haiti’s infrastructure which include thousands of education buildings, healthcare facilities and general infrastructure (Salam & Khan, 2020). The consequences make the post 2010 earthquake a critical aspect to evaluate. Just how did Haiti recover from the earthquake especially between 2010 and 2015? Specifically, how did small businesses-built resiliency that helped them to recover from this pandemic? These questions will form the basis of discussion for this task.

Impact on Small Businesses

The 2010 earthquake has remarkable negative implications to small scale businesses. The small businesses were left in ruins. The businesses, some of which were located in hundreds of businesses that collapsed vanished as a result of the earthquake. Thousands of businesses such as hotels, restaurants as well as corner shops were completely swept away as a result of the earthquake. Those businesses that were not flattened were badly damaged with those with bank loans to service facing the first-hand economic challenges. The situation was even made worse when the small business owners lost not only their businesses but also their places of residence (Hooper, 2019). Furthermore, the agricultural sector which employed directly and indirectly thousands of small-scale business operators was shaken resulting in very high unemployment rates. Small scale retailers as well as middlemen were also affected especially in the supply chain due to the increased losses to the productive assets. All these implications meant that there was need for remedial measures to this small-scale sector as discussed in the subsequent section.

Seeking Financial Assistance

One of the steps made by small scale businesses to respond to the 2010 earthquake is seeking for financial assistance both from well-wishers and from other financial institutions. Due to the earthquake, Haitians small business owners struggled to get loans from financial institutions as most could not prove any kind of land ownership which they could use as security. One of the foreign donations was from the USAID which often extended at least $ 37 million in credit to most of the small -scale businesses. Getting these loans was one of the key steps towards helping the small-scale businesses in securing financial credit that could restore their businesses. The financial assistance was also key in helping these businesses to restock.

Implementing a Post-Relocation Plan

One way through which small scale businesses recovered after the earthquake was to implement a disaster plan. Small scale businesses often assessed damage and considered a backup location for their businesses. Business players sought to relocate their businesses to the areas that are less destroyed. The small-scale business operators whose place of operation was completely destroyed decided to shift to places that were not destroyed for their business restructuring. Besides, most of the other operators moved to other close premises like the city of Canaan which also has meaningful population density.

Establishing New Businesses/ Business Mergers

After the earthquake, some of the business operators opted to completely shift to new businesses, especially those that allow using temporary structures. Until 2015, most of the small-scale business players restored their businesses or established new ones from scratch with almost no or with minimal financial assistance. The town was completely functional with many makeshift structures being in use. Besides, other infrastructural facilities such as hotels, salons and restaurants that facilitate small scale business operation was as well constructed.

Government Relief Programs

To ensure that small business operators fully return to their business operational ways, the government intensified its efforts in providing food programs such as cash and food-for-work initiatives. After the disaster, the unemployed and those that needed financial help, also required immediate financial aid for their wellbeing (Damien et al., 2011). The homeless were provided with temporary structures such as makeshift camps. There were also emergency assistance programs that were rapidly established to aid small scale business operators in returning to their normal ways of doing business. Furthermore, the government was key in clearing the rabbles and the drainage system so as to allow the restoration of the initially established business structures.




Damien E., and Francesca., & Oviedo, (2011). Who Benefit from Cash and Food-for-Work Programs in Post-Earthquake Haiti?

Hooper, M. (2019). When Diverse Norms Meet Weak Plans: The Organizational Dynamics of Urban Rubble Clearance in Post‐Earthquake Haiti. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research43(2), 292-312.

Salam, M. A., & Khan, S. A. (2020). Lessons from the humanitarian disaster logistics management: A case study of the earthquake in Haiti. Benchmarking: An International Journal.



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