New Leaf: Save a store while you shop

By Lauren Belcher |


During the holidays, it’s no secret that people tend to spend more money.

Even us poor college kids find ourselves buying gifts for loved ones. This holiday, while you’re spending the money, think about where it’s going — or better, who it could be helping.

This holiday, I challenge you to make a change. It’s simple. Pick three local, independent stores. Then, try to spend 50 dollars a month at each store. It’s called The 3/50 Project.

The 3/50 Project was created to help rebuild the local economy. Its creator, Cinda Baxter started the program in Minneapolis.

This project is not limited to the holidays, although it’s a great time to do so. It can be any independent business — hairdresser, laundry mat, or a clothing store.

®© Cinda Baxter, 2009. All rights reserved. Used here with permission.

®© Cinda Baxter, 2009. All rights reserved. Used here with permission.

“If half the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent business, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue,” according to

The program can also be adapted to your budget and lifestyle. If you can’t afford 3/50 then try 3/25 or 1/50. Anything helps towards the local economy.

“For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures,” The 3/50 Project site wrote. “If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.”

What three local stores would you miss if they closed down?

If you want to learn more visit: The 3/50 Project Web site

Lauren Belcher is a Senior Writer and Copy Editor for The Gargoyle. In her column, New Leaf, she introduces environmental issues and offers ways to fight environmental destruction. She is a Communication major and Environmental Science minor at Flagler College.

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