AUGUST 11, 2020 | Janette MacDonald and Greg Plante are inviting small independent businesses, business improvement areas (BIAs) and municipalities to think differently about combatting job loss and keeping more money in communities post-COVID with their new business, Fight Unemployment.
The duo, who share decades of experience in entrepreneurism, small business operations, and downtown development, are both small business consultants and community developers.
In addition to working with individual small business owners on everything from merchandising and inventory management to succession planning, Fight Unemployment also offers a range of training programs and tools.
MacDonald, who spent nearly 20 years as an executive in the BIA world, says this work has always been important, but never more so than during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Small business owners have always had to be so many things to so many people. They naturally need support and post-covid, this has never been more true,” notes MacDonald. “Our programs and services focus on helping owners think beyond recovery and toward long-term stability, success and sustainability.”
In addition to core fee-for-service programs and consulting, Fight Unemployment has also developed free tools like a local business directory and a community challenge to encourage local households to think differently about how they spend their discretionary dollars.
Plante, a longtime entrepreneur, says the Shift Your Spend portion of the business is a passion project that encourages individuals to spend more locally in a way that can make a huge impact in a very personal way, because so many people are affected by unemployment.
“Everyone of us has a friend or loved one that has been affected by job loss. If we can encourage individuals to shift just 10% more of their household spending into small independent businesses, the impact to local economies can be in the millions of dollars annually,” reports Plante. “Best of all we keep moms and dads, or sons and daughters, working in local small businesses and we help create new jobs.”
Fight Unemployment officially launched their program offerings today in Huron County, in collaboration with the Municipality of Huron East Economic Development Office and Community Futures Huron and are already engaged with small businesses across the region.
For more information:
About Fight Unemployment
Not unlike COVID-19, unemployment affects everyone - our families, our friends, our neighbours, ourselves. The team at Fight Unemployment believes there has never been a better time to make a big shift.
Fight Unemployment (FU) strengthens communities by building the capacity of small retail and destination businesses and engaging individuals to refocus their household budgets more locally, to literally help fight unemployment. Fight Unemployment programs and services are designed by a team of entrepreneurs and former BIA executives who work in partnership with individual owners, business improvement areas, municipalities and community builders to build mainstreets for the future. They focus on training, consulting, retail solutions and community engagement programs, including their Shift Your Spend initiative, which aims to retain existing jobs and create more jobs by keeping more profits in local communities.
Fight Unemployment is the brainchild of Janette MacDonald and Greg Plante.
Janette MacDonald has nearly 20 years of experience as Executive Director of Downtown London (comprised of London Downtown Business Association and Mainstreet London) and prior to that, 20+ years in personal finance and commercial lending. She is a sought after speaker and consultant in the national and international BIA world, and has won several awards of excellence for her work on BIA programs and promotional campaigns.
Greg Plante is a 16-year entrepreneur and has operated a variety of marketing and print production businesses with clients across Southwestern Ontario. He is the former Chair of the Pilette Village BIA in Windsor and led the More Windsor campaign, which boosts local spending and tourism by highlighting the best that Windsor has to offer across all of its BIAs.