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J Bus Contin Emer Plan. 2011 Oct;5(3):267-79.

A qualitative study of pandemic influenza preparedness among small and medium-sized businesses in New York City.

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New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Queens, NY, USA.


Small businesses need to engage in continuity planning to assure delivery of goods and services and to sustain the economy during an influenza pandemic. This is especially true in New York City, where 98 per cent of businesses have fewer than 100 employees. It was an objective therefore, to determine pandemic influenza business continuity practices and strategies suitable for small and medium-sized NYC businesses. The study design used focus groups, and the participants were owners and managers of businesses with fewer than 500 employees in New York City. The main outcome measures looked for were the degree of pandemic preparedness, and the feasibility of currently proposed business continuity strategies. Most participants reported that their businesses had no pandemic influenza plan. Agreement with feasibility of specific business continuity strategies was influenced by the type of business represented, cost of the strategy, and business size. It was concluded that recommendations for pandemic-related business continuity plans for small and medium-sized businesses should be tailored to the type and size of business and should highlight the broad utility of the proposed strategies to address a range of business stressors.

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