Thursday, May 27, 2010


While we were up in Bar Harbor, Maine last month, we stopped into the wonderful Window Panes shop on Main Street. It’s a treasure trove of the practical, the exquisitely beautiful and their perfect offspring! Owner Julie was ringing up our purchases and we got to chatting about the importance of shopping local. Yes, we shop in the big box retailers. We dine in the national chain restaurants. And heaven help us, we order books on-line from you-know who. But our first choice is to patronize locally owned establishments. Julie referred us to something called The 3/50 Project: “Saving The Brick and Mortars Our Nation Is Built On”.

The 3/50 project asks the provocative question: What three independently owned businesses would you miss if they disappeared?”

Yup, you thought of a few didn’t you? The diner in town that always makes your eggs just right. The funky bookstore where the owner lets you know when your favorite author’s latest book has arrived. The cobbler who regularly resuscitates your Birkenstocks. The independent pharmacist who makes sure you have a ride to the dentist before he gives you the prescription for the Valium, because he’s worried about your safety (True story!).

Now, imagine all of them as empty storefronts. That sends a cold shiver up my spine.

Simple Solution: Patronize them!

Go to The 3/50 Project to find details on how easy it is for you to help. And you can get some powerful facts and figures about the benefits of keeping your dollars in the local economy.


Ms Brown Mouse said...

I will, do in fact, except for the book thing, I love book depositary and won't give them up!

Sue said...

I try very hard to support local business, unfortunately most things are cheaper from abroad. For example: one of our main chain stores, Woolworths, is getting right into the swing of the world cup. In certain larger branches, they have Fifa stores setup selling all kinds of soccer related goodies (ranging from sweets & biscuits to towels and mugs to raincoats and caps). I went in and bought a few items to put out around the time of the world cup and was so disappointed to find that the products I'd bought were all imported from China. Very disappointing when we have such a wonderful opportunity to support the local guys...

Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM -
I hear you. But I do like the idea of making the effort to be sure some of our expenditures every month go to local businesses. It doesn't have to be an all or nothing proposition.

Hi Sue -
You've brought up the even more challenging and more complex issue of the source of manufactured goods. We find a tremendous number of products manufactured in China being sold here in the U.S. We've also had a number of recalls for safety reasons.

Hopefully, every time we shop local and use local services we tip the scales a little bit in the right direction.