Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Southern Louisiana and Mississippi on the morning of August 29, 2005. Katrina's record storm surge washed away entire beachfront communities in Mississippi, and levee breeches flooded 80% of New Orleans. Katrina was the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history with insured losses of $81 billion, and the death toll (including indirect deaths) was over 1800. This special issue of the Journal of Business Valuation and Economic Loss Analysis is dedicated to research on the impacts of Katrina on businesses and local economies, and the corresponding economic loss. This introduction sets the stage for the issue by discussing the significance to the economy of business impacts and economic loss associated with disasters like Katrina, reviewing research on the impacts of hurricanes and disasters on business activity, and previewing the papers.