I was trolling around the interwebs and happened upon an inspiring blog (mostly thanks to its gorgeous design images and lack of hoity-toitiness). Through this blog, I noticed a button that took me to http://www.the350project.net/home.html. Consider me hooked. The concept behind the 3/50 Project is pretty simple. Their goal is to “save the brick and mortar our nation is built on”. Think of three independently owned businesses that you’d miss if they disappeared. (It’s suggested that you stop in, say ‘hello’, and purchase something that makes you smile there. Hopefully it’s not a sadist shop.) From here, it’s stated that if half of the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue. Wow.
It’s further explained that for every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. The same can’t be said for a chain store; only $43 of $100 stays in the community. Purchasing online means that NOTHING is returning home.
While I can’t say that I spend $50 monthly on things that make me smile…hey, maybe I should, but bills are the priority (sigh)…I want to consider this further and see how I can implement this concept. It’s downright rad. If I were to run an independent business someday, I’d couldn’t love it more.
To answer the initial question, it’s strange. Locally…we don’t have a lot that isn’t somehow franchised. Even our local hardware shop is an affiliate of True Value (although I still consider them “Mom and Pop”), and I’d rather not have another excuse to utilize a pizza place. That being said…
I <3 Antiques – Our local antiques center is awesome because, as with many antiques centers, lots of local sellers are available in one place. Booths are varied and chock full of wonderfulness. If I stopped at the cafe and front smelly shop (ie mostly local soaps and things) here, I’d hit all 3 places at once. There are still more local vendors of crafts and jewelry on the second floor of the center, but I often leave there empty-handed and more inspired to attempt the craft ideas at home. Wot waahhh.
So, if the antique place counts as one place…maybe a trip to our favorite restaurant, Beardslee Castle, more often would put a smile on my face and more money into locals’ pockets.
It’s hard to come up with a third without “eating out” yet again. I’ll have to consider that one more, but I’ll have to leave it at a Byrne Dairy trip by the husband. Sure, Byrne Dairy is technically a franchise of convenience stores, but we know that the milk comes from local farmers and when we purchase it, the $$$ trickles down. Plus, the milk is delish…and that makes me smile every time I pour it.
How ’bout you? Any local joints you’d patronize (in the good way) enough to join the 3/50 project? Do tell!