This study examines the impact of federal disaster assistance on the survival and success of small family-owned businesses with fewer than 500 employees from 1996 to 1999. Small family-owned business owners were defined as those who had been in business at least a year, had spent a least 6 hours a week or a minimum of 312 hours annually working in the business, had lived with at least one family member and had fewer than 500 employees. This study suggests firms located in counties receiving more disaster assistance are not more likely to survive, however these firms are more likely to realize positive changes in revenue than firms located in counties receiving less disaster assistance. Businesses located in an economically vulnerable rural county, those engaged in family to business resource intermingling and those transferring more business income to the household were more likely to survive. Larger businesses, those headed by women and those transferring more income from the business to the family were most likely to succeed.