Let’s Support the 3/50 Project

| August 6, 2010 | Comments (3)

You know how you read something and it resonates, but you cannot figure out how to put it into action in a meaningful way?  I’ve been that way for a while now regarding shopping locally.  I agree that it is important, but I always wonder if the shops I patronize are really helped by my business.  I don’t shop a lot, so I wonder if the once-in-a-while or once-a-season visit really makes a difference.  Sometimes I wonder if it really matters if I shop locally or at a chain store as long as the tax revenues end up back in our community.

I read about something that pulls it all together for me.  It’s the 3/50 Project.  The concept is you commit to spending $50 per month in three locally-owned businesses.  I read the 3/50 Project website and found the one paragraph that really helped me understand why locally-owned businesses are so important.  According to the 3/5o Project:

“For every $100 spent in locally-owned, independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.  If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here.  Spend it online and nothing comes home.”

Suddenly I completely get it.  I now have a guide to how I can help locally-owned businesses survive, and I plan to use it.  I have three businesses in mind that I can visit and spend $50 per month on average.  The reality is it will be $25 one month and $100 another, but in the end it will all average out.

I’m also making another change to support a regional radio station.  I discovered Star 96.7 while searching for a new morning radio show that was appropriate for both the girls and me.  I like to hear the news, weather and traffic in the morning, but too many morning radio shows are designed for an older audience.  I’m sure no program manager wonders how to get the six-year-old audience to tune in.  I like Star 96.7 because it is so local.   Their focus is the south and southwest Chicago suburbs.  Their news is a mix of local and national interest.  The music works for all of us.

I’m not giving up all my chain store or Internet shopping.  I’m not sure that’s really possible in today’s world.  I’ve just decided it’s time to follow the 3/50 Project and help local businesses remain a vibrant part of our communities.  It’s a little more work, but I think it’s worth the effort.  Why don’t you join me?

This is an original post of The Chicago Moms.  Shari blogs about twins, family, work and more at Two Times the Fun.  Photo courtesy of Stock Exchange.

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Category: Chicago

About Shari: Shari is a mom, wife, marketing communications professional, gardener, Chicago Blackhawks fan, college sports fan, traveler, quilter, community volunteer, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, Siberian Husky owner, Girl Scout troop leader and book lover. You can find Shari blogging about life with twins at Two Times the Fun and tweeting @slcs48n1. View author profile.

Comments (3)

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  1. Lisa says:

    thanks for sharing this, as I too figured what is the diff! if i go to chain, they’re paying local employees. because I’m UBER budget weary I’m not sure if I can do the 3/50 but I’ll be giving the idea more thought for sure!!

  2. Shari says:

    There’s a related movement to put more money into local banks, rather than the too-big-to-fail banks. It might be worth checking out.

  3. Emily says:

    I struggle with this idea. I love our local toy store and independent book store, but it is hard to shop there when I know that Amazon has the same items for less. At the same time, I really value the customer service I get at those businesses when I need advice on choosing a gift. Maybe this partial commitment to shopping local is the way to go.

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