The 3/50 Project

Eagle-eyed Dan spotted news of this project at the Freeport Knife Store.  The 3/50 Project is a simple way to promote supporting local businesses buy spending retail dollars at local businesses.  In short:  Pick 3 businesses you would miss if they closed, and make it a point to stop in and make a purchase.  If half of the employed population spent $50 a month in independent, locally owned businesses, it would generate over $46 billion in revenue.

The website goes on to say that for every $100 dollars spent locally, $68 remains in the local economy through taxes and payroll, etc.  Only $43 of every $100 spent at a big box store remains in the community.  I can’t vouch for the numbers, but I’ve heard similar figures reported over the years, and I believe them.

I mean really, we all know that most Maine Walmart employees earn so little they qualify for Medicaid, or in other words, I, through my middle class taxes, am paying for their health insurance, and Walmart not, they are instead busy convincing the next rural community that they bring good jobs to the area as a result, they need a big tax break to come to the area and open a new store, which will in turn, really threaten the locally owned businesses.  It is a vicious cycle.

I’ll have to think about which 3 are my pick (does it have to be just 3?) but I’ve probably already spent my $50 this month, shopping at farm stands and the farmer’s market, and independently-owned natural food stores, and the locally-owned nursery/garden store.  Have you?

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6 Responses to “The 3/50 Project”

  1. Beth Says:

    We were shocked Saturday night that our favorite Brunswick restaurant, Rosita’s, had closed. Rosita’s has been in business for twenty plus years. What happened? We went to Appleby’s instead, a sad sad choice. Locally, we support Rocky Ridge and judging by the cars lining the road, so does most of the greater Bowdoin area!

    • Ali Says:

      Beth, I didn’t know Rositas had closed, that is too bad. I’m surprised, I would have thought the college would generate enough business to keep them going. I’m not an Applebee’s fan, either. Try the Mexican place on outer Pleasant Street, it used to be near Mr. Bagel before they moved. I can’t recall the name just now but can recall that every meal I’ve had there has been good.

  2. mangochild Says:

    What a great idea. I’ll very much enjoy that. Like you, I’ve spent at least that much in the spring at the locally owned garden nursery. And certainly at the farmers markets at my favorite farmers’ stands. I don’t know what else is beyond that – those 2 are “normal” places for me. I’m sure there are other worthy local businesses that I would like to patronize. Identifying them will be a good exercise.

    • Ali Says:

      Love the local nurseries and farmstands :-) Don’t forget service businesses count as local too. It is a challenge, though for retailers, because how many places sell, say, a mop? But I will persevere!

  3. Jimmy Cracked-Corn Says:

    My wife and I immediately decided to get on board with this as soon as I told her about your post. What an excellent idea!

  4. jeannie Says:

    I do so love my local stores!!! For that is where I sell my wine glass rings!! And they are starting to sell after all this time. One here, one there it all adds up to me. Thank you for giving me the courage to go forward with the Idea.

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