Thursday, May 14, 2009

Support Your Local Economy: The 3/50 Project

The 3/50 Project is a simple idea started by retail coach Cinda Baxter in an effort to support our communities and save our local indie businesses from closing up shop right before our eyes. Basically, you pick three local brick and mortar businesses that you want to stick around. It could be a restaurant, a boutique or your local dry-cleaners. You spend $50 a month between the three businesses and help to strengthen your local economy.

It's a great idea because the money you spend in your local indie shop doesn’t just support that store, it supports your community as well and I’m not just talking about coming full circle via taxes and salaries. Since local shops tend to carry hand crafted goods created by other local artisans when you make a purchase at your favorite independently owned and operated store you’re supporting the handmade movement too. The same can be said for making a purchase from a local artist's online shop. While it may not be a traditional brick and mortar store supporting it still has all the same cause and effect relations that the 3/50 Project could ever hope for. Either way you’re saying yes to creative ingenuity and one-of-a kind items and no to flat out commercial monopolies.

Now, I know given the current economic state of things we’ve all had to be a bit more planned in the purchases we make, but that doesn’t mean we suddenly stop buying all together. There are always things we need, things that can’t just be skipped – like your sister’s birthday gift or the need for clean clothes. So, why not take an afternoon to check out some local indie shops or frequent a new restaurant for brunch. You never know you might just find a new favorite.

I’ve made myself a promise to invest in my community and to be a part of the 3/50 project. Will you do the same?

3 indie businesses that I want to stick around:
1. Thin Ice for awesome hand crafted goods made by local artisans.
719 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, NY 14222
2. Wild Things for gorgeous one-of-a kind jewelry.
224 Lexington Ave
Buffalo, NY 14222
3. Kunis for the best sushi ever!
226 Lexington Ave
Buffalo, NY 14222

What would your three be?

Related Links:
1. Check out the post that inspired the 3/50 Project
2. See what Oprah got wrong and how it can do more harm than good
3. Cinda Baxter’s blog

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