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How Hounds Town USA Offers a Recession-Resistant Investment Opportunity for New Franchisees

With dog adoption and fostering on the rise during COVID-19, Hounds Town USA offers a lucrative and recession-resistant business for incoming franchisees as the country starts to reopen.

While franchise concepts across every category have had to scale back operations to survive the COVID-19 crisis, Hounds Town USA has been thriving. Thanks in part to the recession-resistant nature of Hounds Town’s business model, the pet care franchise is continuing to appeal to qualified entrepreneurs despite the pandemic situation.

As Entrepreneur points out, even in times of economic duress, people do not stop spending money on their pets. In this particular crisis, healthcare professionals and other essential workers have been working overtime and are in critical need of additional pet care, which is why Hounds Town USA has been designated as an essential business, allowing the franchise to continue operating while many other businesses have been forced to close temporarily. Plus, through the Fresh Air Fund, Hounds Town USA locations foster dogs to alleviate the burden on local animal shelters, giving dogs a valuable opportunity to have more freedom of movement and socialize with other dogs in the hopes of making them more adoptable. 

Over the past few months, as people found themselves staying at home with plenty of time and energy to spare, there has been a record-setting rise in dog adoption and fostering. As we emerge from this crisis, these new pet owners will need help taking care of their animals once they return to work — and Hounds Town USA (and the pet care industry as a whole) is set to see a huge uptick in business. Since Hounds Town USA has been open and operating safely this whole time, the brand is especially well-prepared to appeal to these new customers in comparison with the competition.

“We’re fortunate to have a business model that was built to survive a crisis like this, and we’re doing everything we can to extend our good fortune to our neighbors and set franchisees up for even more success when this chapter is over,” said Hounds Town USA President Jackie Bondanza. 

Hounds Town USA currently has 11 locations open across the country and 14 locations in development. The brand's footprint has also expanded outside of its home region of Long Island, with recent openings in Detroit, and plans for locations in Florida, Tennessee, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Georgia, which speaks to growing demand in the pet care industry. Now, the franchise has no plans to slow its growth during the rest of 2020 and has signed three new franchise deals in three new markets, including the most recent in early May for Tampa, Florida. 

Jason and Debbie Barrett, the newly signed franchisees, have lived in the Chicago suburbs their whole lives and are escaping the cold midwest to move to the Tampa sun this summer. Jason, a cybersecurity professional and Debbie, a seasoned teacher, have signed on to open a Hounds Town USA in Tampa early next year.

When Debbie was in college she worked in a pet store, fueling her love for animals and desire for a career in pet care. Together, Debbie and Jason own two dogs, a hamster and four fish. When exploring different franchise opportunities, the husband-and-wife duo wanted to find a brand that would allow them to pursue their pet business ownership dream.

“We’ve always wanted to own our own business and help animals in need,” said Debbie. “We worked with a franchise consultant who introduced us to the Hounds Town USA brand. We loved the affordable pricing structure, the passion and expertise of the leadership team and the dog-focused approach. We wanted to join a brand that we would trust leaving our own dogs with. Hounds Town USA offers a great way to mix our love of animals, business ownership and desire to help the community at the same time.”

These differentiators are also why Hounds Town USA has been able to thrive as a recession-resistant business during this difficult time. “Hounds Town USA has always been a very accessible and affordable option for pet care,” Bondanza said. “We are not the brand that costs $1 million to build out or that charges $200 a night for a suite with a TV. We consider ourselves an accessible brand, so when the going gets tough and a crisis hits our country, we are still operating at 60, 70 and even 80 percent capacity. Our model was designed to handle events like the coronavirus pandemic.” 

Now, the Barretts are thrilled to be bringing the brand to Tampa, an area full of people who appreciate good care for their pets. The two will open their first location early next year with plans to open more down the line.

When it comes to the future of their business post-COVID, the Barretts are excited for an increased consumer demand. “This crisis has actually been a good time to open a business and get the groundwork in place,” said Jason. “Now is the time to begin looking for investments and opportunities as more and more people begin looking for pet services again. People are never going to give up their pets, and that is why the Hounds Town USA service will always be needed.”

In addition to providing franchisees like the Barretts with an emotionally rewarding career, Hounds Town USA offers a strong support system, a low cost of entry, a simple operational model and an established franchise system. For business professionals who have been looking for a way out of the corporate grind, Hounds Town USA provides the recession-resistant opportunity they need to change their careers and their lives

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