Just a year ago The 3/50 Project began. Hard to believe. This grassroots “movement” to encourage people to support their independent, local brick and mortar businesses began with a blog post by Cinda Baxter, retail consultant and former independent retailer. Even in this economy – especially in this economy – Cinda knew the importance of getting consumers to spend wisely and well, in their own neighborhoods, helping local businesses, who put more of that money back into the local economy (taxes, jobs, charitable donations).
Cinda says she had a “deep seeded desire to create a message that’s positive and achievable,” in this tough economic environment. So she wrote that first blog post on March 11, 2009, giving birth to The 3/50 Project.
Things moved fast after that, Cinda explains,
The next week, I threw together a free flyer businesses could crank out of their desktop printers to hand customers. A week later, a one-page website explaining the flyer. A couple of weeks after that, having received more than 300 emails asking “What else have you got?” I built the website you see today, launching it mid-afternoon on Monday, March 30th.”
And in the first seven days, more than 7,600 people found it (8,600+ if you count repeat visits).
The 3/50 Project is pretty simple. It asks all of us to 1) pick 3 independently owned businesses that we would miss if they disappeared. Then 2) spend $50 a month with each of those businesses. You don’t have to follow that to the letter, but you get the general idea. It’s been a hard year for retail, and we’ve all seen the empty storefronts where there once was a business.
Now the 3/50 Project is starting a new effort, one especially close to our hearts (and stomachs) at Bucks County Taste. The “Eat down the street” promotion applies the same principles to eating out. Cinda suggests that we all commit to dining out one night each week at a local, independently owned restaurant, cafe, pizza joint – you name it. I can handle that. No problemo.
Go to the 3/50 Project Web site to learn more, or become a fan of their Facebook page. If you are one of these business owners, go to the Web site to print out a sign/flyer to post in your window and explain to your patrons what it’s all about. Bon Appetit!