Strategic Responses to Business Slowdown Due to the 9-11 Terrorist Attack

Document Type



The purpose of this project was to analyze the business slowdown in New York City following the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. In a three-phase project we focused first, on the restaurant industry and, later, on hotels and Bed & Breakfasts. We sought to record responses to the dramatic drop in business and to identify creative approaches employed to maintain economic viability. We hope that the lessons learned in New York might help the tourism industry in other locations around the world if affected by similar dramatic circumstances.

Information about the Student Author

Class of 2004, Major: Business

Summary of Research Experience

In Phase I of this project we administered a survey and built a detailed database for 275(+) restaurants in the Lower Manhattan neighborhood. We included detailed information provided by owners and managers regarding the impact of the September 11th tragedy on the restaurant industry. The surveys were administered primarily by fax. We sent approximately twenty-five percent (25%) of the surveys via mail to those restaurants not having fax numbers. Phase II of this project allowed us to select a group of businesses at random and interview the restaurant owners with a more in-depth questionnaire. We worked in conjuction with Sue Murrman, PhD., of Virginia Tech, and Pat Bartholomew, PhD., of NY City Technical College (CUNY). Based on our analysis of the results, we wrote an article entitled "New York Restaurant Industry: Strategic Responses to Business Slowdown Due to the 9-11 Terrorist Attack" that was published in the Journal of Travel and Journalism Marketing, 2002. The third phase of this research project was to build a second database of the hotels and Bed & Breakfast places south of 14th Street in Lower Manhattan, New York. As Dr. Green and I have collectively spoken with either Human Resources or the concierge regarding employment, occupancy, and basic people traffic since the tragedy of September 11th 2001, we have gained a new perspective on their lack of business. Because of the nature of the situation, we have had to spend a great deal of time determining what is accessible and making local connections in order to facilitate research contacts consistent with the mission of Pace's Center For Downtown New York. In the weeks following the terrorist attack, much of the help was aimed at small businesses, providing information on government services and developing government programs. Through these research efforts, I was able to use the resources of Pace University Small Business Development Center. On several occasions, I have also met with Dan Slippen, Pace's Director of Government and Community Relations in NYC and Director of Pace's Center for Downtown New York. Although Lower Manhattan was the site of a terrorist attack, the strategies used here may be used as a model for any business owner in other cities where there is a serious downturn in business.

Faculty Mentor

Claudia G. Green, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management

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