Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Pick 3. Spend 50. Save your local economy.

By Cinda Baxter, Founder of The 3/50 Project
Cinda Baxter

No one needs to tell storefront retailers times are tough; truth be told, we were the first ones to see the mysterious tea leaves, being the closest connection to consumers. As early as last June, stores began seeing serious drops in revenue.

In the words of Erin Burnett, business news anchor for MSNBC (and my new favorite media voice), “I do think a lot of this is psychology,” referring to how determined the media seems to be to make things sound as hopeless as possible. “I’ve been collecting words the media has been using to describe the crisis: carnage, apocalypse, bleeding, hemorrhaging, crash. There is something to be said for a loss of perspective and a sense of hyperbole that’s taken over.”

Hear, hear.

Folks, it’s time the message changed, and if the media’s not going to do it...well.... who will? Yup. You.

Enter The 3/50 Project.
In a nutshell, The 3/50 Project is built on a simple concept—consumer loyalty to independent storefront businesses equals stronger local economies.

Pick 3. Spend 50. Save your local economy:

  • Pick three locally owned stores you’d miss if they disappeared, then return to them. Say hello.
  • Pick up a little something that will make someone smile. Those purchases are what keeps those businesses around. If just half the employed US population committed to spending $50 in locally owned stores each month, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue. Imagine what would happen if 3/4 of them did that.
  • For every $100 spent in locally owned stores, $68 returns to the local economy through payroll taxes, property taxes, sales tax, payroll, and other business related expendatures. When purchasing from a chain or franchise, that amount drops to $43; if it’s spent online, nothing comes home.

Since the idea first popped up in a blog post mid-March, The 3/50 Project has taken off like a rocket.

To learn more about The 3/50 Project, visit http://www.the350project.net/.