From the woman bold enough to tell Oprah that she’s wrong, Cinda Baxter stands by her belief to support local economies.
When Cinda first heard that Oprah had broadcast on her show for people to stop buying items of indiscretion, she went straight to her blog sight, Always Upwards, and posted her newest idea. This idea was based on keeping consumers from taking their hard earned dollars out of the community, and spending it at franchises and chains.
Cinda was brought in by the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce to discuss, with business owners and other invested in the community, her vision of the 3/50 Project. The project first launched in March 2009, after posting her blog about the concept of local spending and in the last 18 months has caught fire.
The basic notion of the movement isn’t hard grasp. Firstly, consumers think of three locally owned, independent businesses within the community that they don’t want to lose. Then they make a conscious decision to spend $50 between those three businesses every month. It may sound like a lot at first, but upon further examination, it’s money they probably already spend anyway and don’t get confused by the term “shop” local. This doesn’t just mean physical goods, but services as well. Places such as hair salons and restaurants count also.
The plan is designed to keep money flowing within the community and lessen the amount that leaves through the patronage of box stores. Decide to shop locally first and give the hometown retailers a chance, before packing up the car and driving to a larger community. Who knows, it might even be cheaper within the area.
The project isn’t only designed for consumers but for businesses as well. Cinda encourages business owners to become invested in the project and partner with other independent owners to help promote the movement. By working together to spread the word, more shoppers will be enlightened than one business could hope to educate on their own.
Some numbers that Cinda wanted buyers to keep in mind were that for every $100 dollars spent at locally owned stores, $68 of it returns to circulate in the community. Compared to out of $100 spent at box stores, only $43 of it will stay within the community. She also revealed that on average, a dollar bill will circle back seven times within the same township.
In closing, Cinda wanted to remind consumers not to forget about Small Business Saturday, on Nov. 27, in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The name says it all, its focus is to have small businesses take back there day of shopping while promoting the 3/50 Project.