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Linda Crow, owner of La Ti Da in Pell City says that for every $100 spent with independently owned businesses, $68 returns to the local economy through taxes and payroll.

Almost $7 million would be added to the economy each month if half of Pell City’s residents spent $50 here instead of shopping elsewhere or online, a local retailer has said.

Linda Crow, owner of specialty store La Ti Da in downtown Pell City, is encouraging support for The 3/50 Project, an initiative aimed at supporting independent, locally owned businesses.  A meeting to discuss the project is set for 5:30 p.m. June 17 at city hall.  Business owners, local officials, and the public are invited.

Launched last year in Minnesota, The 3/50 Project asks consumers to identify and support the three independently owned businesses they would miss most if they were gone, and to pledge to spend at least $50 per month with local retailers.

“It doesn’t mean that you have to spend $50 in each of the three stores each month, just $50 locally each month,” Mrs. Crow said.  

If half of the employed population of Pell City did that, the local economy would receive a monthly boost of $6,750,000, according to projections she provided Monday to a small group of local retailers who met to discuss the initiative. Expanding the number of half of St. Clair County’s employed population would increase the potential boost to $18.3 million.  

“One thing that people don’t understand is that for every $100 spent with independently owned businesses, $68 returns to the local economy through taxes, payroll, and other ways,” she said.  “If you spend that with a national chain, only $43 stays here.  If you spend it online with a store that is not here in Pell City, we get nothing.”

Mrs. Crow added that she doesn’t discourage shopping at franchise businesses or national retailers.  “We need them too.  They’re vital to our community, but independent businesses are the bedrock of Main Street and the soul of America.  We’re the leaders in the community, we’re the ones they come to to support charities, we’re the ones who support the chamber of commerce, we’re the ones who hold up the value of real estate.”

Ashley Windham, owner of Strandz salon on Cogswell Avenue, called for local small business owners to support one another with The 3/50 Project.

“I don’t think anyone in this town has more business than they can handle.  We all need each other.  That’s the way it’s supposed to be, and if this is something that pulls businesses together, this is what we need.”

For more information about The 3/50 Project, call Mrs. Crow at 338-2253 or visit www.the350project.net.

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