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?