Independent thought: Supporting local businesses

I think my friend Bob first made me aware of the 3/50 Project, designed to teach people the importance of local independent businesses — or, more specifically, the importance of regularly supporting local independent businesses.

I can spend hours looking at the random books here. And this blog is a fun look at what people left inside.

One of the statistics is that if half the employed population spent $50 a month at locally owned independent businesses, it would raise more than $42 billion in revenue.

I like that most of the staff at this Aveda salon is Latina -- and I love that the facials are only $50.

So here’s the rub: Everyone is trying to cut back, but small businesses need customers to stay in business. So the project’s founder came up with the idea of asking people: When you can, try to funnel $50 a month specifically to locally owned businesses, instead of chains.

My neighbors and I do our "prison workouts" at the gym (and -- shh! -- tan next door, too).

Two “nots”: The project is not asking you to swear off all national retailers; it’s about trying to support the little guy when possible. And the “3” does not mean spend $50 each at three different places  — it’s about each and every month supporting the three places you’d hate to see go out of business.

I’ve included the logos and quick reasons for why I picked my three selections above: Click on each image to go to the company’s website.

I had trouble picking a restaurant: Most of my go-tos are either big-enough locally owned chains, such as Oregano’s, or places that my waist wouldn’t let me eat at too often — I’m looking at you, Via de los Santos and your three-way burro with fundido sauce. Heck, even the bar I end up most also has locations in Denver and Vegas — I think that makes it a mini-chain, too.

Sure, Bookman’s has other Arizona locations, but I think it’s local enough to count. And I worry about independent bookstores. (Plus, they just started this cool blog that shows the things that people left behind when they traded in their books.)

What would your three be?

WHAT SAM WORE: 01-23-10
The sweatshirt: The go-to “I am lazy and
this is comfortable” hoodie I inherited from
my roommate, who got it at Last Chance.
The T-shirt: University of Montana T-shirt
that Mr. Brooks bought for me either as a Christmas gift , or for dropping him off on Christmas Day at an airport 40 miles from home, then picking him up at 1 a.m a week later, on a work night, at the same airport.
The pants: Sweats on sale at Old Navy.


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