The 350 Project is a challenge put forth by Cinda Baxter, a self-proclaimed media expert on small business, for each American to spend $50 a month in 3 independent stores.  The idea is that if half of the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned stores, it would generate $42.6 billion in revenue and as their slogan says, ‘save the brick and mortar our nation is built on.’

I know what some of you might be thinking – independent stores tend to be more expensive.  But here are 7 beneficial reasons why locals should love and protect their neighborhood shops:

1. Local business owners are invested in the community.  They are less likely to leave a community and therefore, they will feel the impact of the decisions they make as owners.

2. Research shows that skilled workers are more likely to settle in communities that preserve their unique businesses and town character.

3.  Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally. In some sectors, they provide better wages, and benefits than chains do.

4. Customer service is typically better in independent stores.  If your purchase is damaged, you’re not just an order number, you’re a person living in the same community.

5. Statistics show that Non-Profit organizations receive an average of 350% greater support from independent business owners than they do from non-independently owned businesses.

6. Local shops have a greater tendency to offer American made products.

7. When you make purchases at independent stores, more money circulates in your local economy and enriches the whole community.  Did you know that for every $100 you spend in an independent store, $68 filters back to the local community through taxes, payroll, and new purchases?  For every $100 you spend at a national franchise in your town, only $43 comes back to the community you live in.  And if you choose to spend $100 through an online store that is not based in your area, $0 will come back to your local economy.


Discover the perfect holiday gift for everyone on your list and support Main Street America at the same time with the help of these Happening Holiday Shopping Guides:

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