The WSJ on Buying Local

3_50 project smallIn case you missed it, here’s a link to a recent Wall Street Journal article featuring the 3/50 Project.  Frankly, the article isn’t that great, but it does highlight the experience of one small business owner’s success with her “buy local” efforts.

We don’t have the resources of our larger competitors when it comes to advertising and PR, so it’s important when any “buy local” program gets national exposure.

Of course, 3/50 works because it appeals to the consumer’s needs as well as the merchant’s.  Pick three local businesses that you couldn’t live without and help them stay in business.  It’s a win/win.  Contrast that approach with the Chicago pen dealer’s personal plea.  He got a brief bump in sales but it was short lived.  Let’s be honest, it’s one thing to spend $50.00 that I was going to spend anyway to ensure that my local hardware store or diner is going to stay around.  It’s something else to ask me to buy a $300 pen to support a store that sells $300 pens.

Check out the article and if you haven’t already, check out the 3/50 Project web site.  There’s a permanent link to it in the left hand column of this page.

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Supporting “Local” Small Business When You’re Out of Town

3_50 project smallThis post is inspired by a comment on the 3/50 Project facebook page.  [In case you missed it, I wrote about the 3/50 Project earlier.  There’s also a link to their home page on your left.

Lili Johnstone wrote:  “Just wanted to say that even when you are far from home, you can still support local stores via the web. Many locally-owned, small business owners have created a cyberspace presence. Next time when shopping online search some of your local favorites.”

An excellent idea for many purchases and I couldn’t agree more.  But when traveling, there are a lot of things that you need to buy from a brick and mortar merchant.  If we support “buy local” at home, then it only makes sense to do the same when you travel.  Every town has excellent local merchants and we should patronize them just as we hope that travellers will visit our stores.

In my response to Lili’s comment, I mentioned restaurants.  When I travel, I never eat at chain places (with the exception of Waffle House.  Sorry, I’m addicted to the Fiesta Omelet.  Nobody’s perfect.))  Not only does eating at local restaurants support the local economy, it provides a local experience that you can’t get at the chains.  You almost always find better food and more interesting people at Mom’s Diner than you do at McDonald’s.

As the 3/50 movement spreads and more and more of their window stickers begin to appear, look for them when you travel.  Patronize your fellow small business owner.  It’s good for all of us.

Saving the Economy 3 Stores at a Time

3_50-project

Thanks to Jay Ehret, aka themarketingguy for pointing out this article from WCCO.com about the 3/50 Project.  The 3/50 project was launched by Cinda Baker, a small business consultant.  The whole thing is really simple.  Consumers pick three local, independent businesses that they’d hate to see disappear and spend $50 per month at those businesses ($50 total, not $50 each).

Consumers aren’t being asked to spend any additional money; just to redirect part of the money they’re already spending to their friends and neighbors who own local businesses.  Unlike some “buy local” campaigns, there is no cost for you to join the project, just a short registration.

Once you’re a member, you’ll be able to download a bag stuffer, counter cards and other promotional goodies.  Other non-downloadable stuff can be ordered at little or no cost.

If there’s no official “buy local” organization in your area, or if you’re running on a tight budget, here’s your chance to start something with virtually no out-of-pocket expense except for paper and ink to print the bag stuffers, counter cards, etc.  You’re inviting your friends and neighbors to support you and your fellow merchants just by spending a small amount of their monthly income with you instead of a national chain.  This is one of those win/win opportunities that can really add up.

You can make this happen today.  Go to the 3/50 web site.  Sign up.  Download the counter card and bag stuffer and put them into use immediately.  You have absolutely nothing to lose and a lot to gain.