Norman Yerke refuses to participate in the current recession, and he wants you to do the same. Yerke is the creator of www.americanbusinessfightsback.com, a website that calls on businesspeople to share their best practices for fighting the economic downturn, or what he calls the terrorist-induced recession.
There are a handful of ideas posted on the site, ranging from big moves like letting clients skip two months of payment for a fee, to tiny sacrifices like giving up your morning coffee break to be more productive. Yerke, CEO of investment bank USADealmaker in Waukesha, Wis., says he hopes to get executives thinking positively and creatively about avoiding layoffs.
“For this to be effective we have to get employees involved, we have to get CEOs involved, and presidents of companies and chambers of commerce involved,” Yerke says. “If all of us get together we can keep people working.”
That’s just how the website came about. Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, Yerke met with other Midwestern business leaders to discuss what they could do to help the economy. They decided to launch the website, and two Illinois companies donated their time and money for the site: Professional Consulting Services created the design, and DataFlo is the ISP.
Yerke admits it’s taking a while for the site to find its audience, even though he has sent mass e-mails and a message to the White House. Still, he is confident his initiative will catch on. “Americans are very positive people,” he says. “The more we can get people thinking positive, especially in business, the better off we’ll be.”