This paper therefore focusses on research and findings from cases that have primarily occurred in developed countries such as the USA, New Zealand and the UK. Despite cultural differences between these countries, there is sufficient similarity in economic, social and institutional structures and conditions to enable the extrapolation and application of lessons learned there to the Australian context (Smart, 2012).
This paper reviews the national and international literature on post-disaster economic recovery, drawing out key themes of relevance to Australia. The concept of recovery is explored, identifying the broad streams within it as well as considering how recovery fits within an overarching paradigm of resilience. A review of the economic impacts of disasters is undertaken, before examining in detail the impacts of disasters on small businesses. This review looks at factors influencing business recovery following a disaster and explores the intricate interconnections between business recovery and community recovery. The problems with business disaster recovery assistance programs are discussed, highlighting unexpected findings regarding the utility of such assistance programs. The paper concludes by discussing the "mirage" of recovery and the difficulties involved in achieving long-term, sustainable economic recovery after a disaster.