A local business is taking part in a unique project that aims to strengthen the local economy.

The 3/50 Project’s tag line is “save your local economy three stores at a time.” The idea is that if half of the employed population spends $50 a month in locally owned retail stores, the purchases would create around $42.6 billion in revenue. “That’s a huge impact for a relatively small investment,” Cinda Baxter said. Baxter is the founder of the project and is based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was an independent stationery storeowner for fourteen years and now serves as a retail consultant and professional speaker.

According to the 3/50 Project, $68 remains in the community economy for every $100 spent in locally owned stores. On the flip side, only $43 stays in the local economy for every $100 spent in national chains.

Little Lambs Children’s Boutique, located at 2247 Martin Street South in Pell City, recently jump onboard the project.

Heather Adams, owner of Little Lambs, said the simplicity of the project is what drew her to join. “People don’t think about shopping locally,” Adams said. “What I like about it is, it’s encouraging you to think about the things you already buy and to get those items at locally owned store instead of a chain store. It’s not about spending more money.”

The basis of the project revolves around consumers asking themselves what three locally owned stores they would miss the most if they went out of business and reminds them to return there. “Shoppers have become so rooted in thinking about the essentials that they’ve forgotten about the little gift store on the corner whose owner remembers their name,” Baxter said. “In essence, the whole thing boils down to pick three, spend $50, save the economy. It’s really that simple.”

A Project 3/50 free flyer for businesses can be downloaded, printed then handed to customers with their purchase to make them aware of the initiative. “The idea is to look customers in the eye, put this right in their hands, and say ‘thank you for shopping in a locally owned store’ rather than just pop these in the bottom of a bag and hope someone sees them,” Baxter explained. “The best part about 3/50 is that it’s so down to earth, so straightforward and so accessible.”

“Shopping locally puts more money back into the community,” Adams said.

For more information about the 3/50 Project visit www.the350project.net.

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