If you'd like to support your local economy, the folks at The 3/50 Project have a suggestion. Identify three locally owned businesses that you'd hate to see go, then each month spend a total of $50 in the three businesses (all three combined, not each). Or, as they put it, "Pick 3. Spend 50. Save your local economy." It's that simple.
Of course, it's not really that simple because running a small business - whether or not it fits perfectly within the model of locally owned, independent, bricks-and-mortar businesses that are the focus of The 3/50 Project - is never that simple, and there is never a guarantee of success. But that's not really the point, at least not as I see it. I think the folks at The 3/50 Project are doing a favor for those of us who rely on small businesses or simply enjoy shopping at local retail stores or eating at local restaurants. They remind us to be intentional about how and where we spend our hard-earned money, and they remind us that those decisions can and do have a real impact on the communities where we live. In addition, they are doing it in a way that is much more creative, and much more personal, than most other "buy local" campaigns.
The founder of The 3/50 Project, Cinda Baxter, was recently in Hamilton County for a speaking engagement. You can read her interview with the Hamilton County Business Magazine here.
The 3/50 Project maintains a list of independent, locally owned, bricks-and-mortar business and of people (like us) who support those businesses. If you'd like to express your support, go here to register.