Tricounty News

Have you heard of 3/50 yet?

I heard it on the news the other night. It's not originally a Minnesota thing, but someone in the Cities latched onto the idea and has run with it herself. It's a great idea, and one that we can all live with. The idea is that we all can contribute to a monumental stimulus package, of sorts, to local, independent brick-and-mortar businesses. While the gigantic, failing corporations get bailouts, we can help ourselves. Here's how it works. Pick three local, independently owned businesses that you don't want to see disappear. (No, WalMart and OCB don't count.) Then make sure that every employed person in your household spends $50 between those businesses; $50 total a month. Now, if the gas station and the grocery store are among the three businesses you've chosen, $50 a month will be very easy. Here's the really cool part. If only half of the people with jobs in America do this, it will amount to a stimulus of more than $42 BILLION to local, independent businesses. And analysis shows that 68 percent of that $42+ billion will stay right in the communities where it is spent. (That's as opposed to 43 percent for so-called "big-box" stores or chains, and 0 percent for money spent on-line.) So what this means is that, amid all the doom-and-gloom in the news, and in spite of the helplessness that engenders, there is something simple and meaningful that you can do. Right here at home, where it counts the most. Have I convinced you yet? You can join the movement, as I have, at their Web site:. Once you join, you can order a free window cling for your front door (businesses), ads and links for your own Web site, and more. Think about it, please. If you want to keep local business here, make some of your purchases here. This is especially meaningful this week, as we have stories of local businesses having donated to Kimball's first-ever (in this century) Easter egg hunt, to the Kimball Area Fire Department, and to the restoration of Kimball's city hall. If those businesses disappear, so will their contributions to our community.