3/50 Project

The 3/50 Project, a complementary movement to Small Business Saturday and other Buy Local campaigns, urges consumers to spend $50 at three independent stores each month. According to ConsumerReports.org, “What started out as a passing thought by retail consultant and blogger, Cinda Baxter, quickly spread throughout the blogosphere and onto Main Street.” Buy Local campaigns are now in 100 U.S. communities, according to The Wall Street Journal, with 8,500 businesses participating in the 3/50 Project alone. “Most consumers don’t realize that so much more revenue stays in the community when they buy locally,” says Baxter. For every $100 spent at independents, she explains, $68 comes back to the comminity through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.

Indies Find Success With Buy Local 3/50 Project

Offering a “Keep the Cheer Here” promotional campaign as part of the project, Baxter encouraged additional shopping at independently owned stores during the 2011 Black Friday shopping frenzy, but she also suggested that store owners focus on the remaining holiday shopping season. “If half the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue,” according to the organization’s website. As a result, one local news station and local newspapers reported, participants in the 3/50 Project saw an increase in their business during the holiday shopping season, as the promotion helped make loyal customers even more loyal. In fact, half of participants saw an influx of new customers.

Baxter confesses, “Having spent 14 years as a successful retail store owner, I get it from the inside out, and feel an obligation to share the hard earned knowledge and expertise that brought me to where I am today.” She also reminds local brick and mortars and their customers that although the 3/50 Project played a successful role in the 2011 holiday season, “it is not just a flash in the holiday retail pan, and aims to boost sales year round,” according to TV station KSTP.