Get Grant Outta Your Pants

Pick 3, Spend 50, Save the Local Economy

By Deborah Ferguson
|  Saturday, Sep 5, 2009  |  Updated 11:49 AM CDT
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Pick 3, Spend 50, Save the Local Economy

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Pick 3, Spend 50, Save the Local Economy

The 3/50 Project is a movement to get shoppers back into locally-owned, independent businesses and it's catching on in North Texas.
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A movement to get shoppers back into locally-owned, independent businesses is catching on in North Texas.

The 3/50 Project encourages shoppers to spend $50 a month at three independent stores.

"It doesn't have to be $50 in each store," explained Betsy Swango, co-owner of The Write Selection in Dallas. "It just has to be $50 a month."

Sarah Garrett, owner of The Artful Hand in Fort Worth, joined the project, too.

"It's designed to have customers and shoppers change their habits to independent, brick and mortar stores because that's where our tax base comes from, from sales tax," Garrett said.

According to the Minneapolis-based project, $100 spent in independently-owned stores puts $68 back in to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenses.  Spend that $100 in a national chain, and $43 stays local. Spend it on line and nothing comes home.

Swango said the campaign, though, isn't about getting people to stop shopping online.  It's about balance.

"I'm saying, 'Shop. Get your money out in to the world,'" Swango encouraged.

Especially that part of the world that's right in your own backyard -- the local merchant.

"The local independent business suffers the most in times like this because we don't have the budget for advertising," said Garrett.

Almost a hundred business are currently registered with The 3/50 Project.  Stores get signs to put up in windows and fliers to give to shoppers. 

"3/50. It's easy to remember," said Swango. "Three stores, $50."

More: The350Project

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