Thursday, June 10, 2010

Have You Heard of the 3/50 Project?

This week, I learned about the 3/50 Project, created by blogger Cinda Baxter, who is aiming to stimulate local economies with the following advice:

"Think of three [local] businesses you'd miss if they went away. Stop in. Say hello. Pick up a little something that makes you smile. Pick 3. Spend 50. Save your local economy." In other words, channel $50 (that would would have spent anyway on food, a hair cut, clothing, etc.) into a locally owned and operated business.

Baxter claims that for every $100 spent in locally owned independent businesses, $68 returns to the community (through taxes, payroll, and expenditure). If you spend that money in a national chain, only $43 returns, and if you spend it online, virtually none of it returns.

As a citizen of one town for most of my life, I can see the potential benefits that the 3/50 project carries for a healthier local economy. My relatively small town often loses potential revenue when shoppers choose to shop at the state capital city that is just a 10 minute drive away, but in fact a completely different county altogether. As for local businesses, I know that I would be lost without my favorite Laotian and Indian restaurant, my trusty dry cleaner and salon, and the Woodland-based Nugget market (the best grocery store I have ever had the pleasure of patronizing). Incidentally, I saw on Facebook that Cinda Baxter visited the nearby city of Woodland and spoke about her project just this week. Too bad I missed her, but I hope to keep her ideas in mind in the future when I need to purchase goods and services and keep it close to home.

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