The Three-Fifty Project

Feb 15, 2010 7:49 PM

Betty Paugh often shops at Barnes & Noble in Chico.

Why doesn't she choose the locally owned Lyon Books instead?

"It's convenient for me, lthe staff is really friendly and helpful and if they don't have it they get it for me, that's what happened today, I ordered a book. It's also closer to my house so I'm more likely to come here," Paugh explained.

But Poni Mosier, owner of Grace Jr in Chico is hoping to change that and is promoting the "Three-Fifty Project." She got the idea from a flyer. The way it works is simple. Pick three independently owned businesses and spend a total of 50-dollars each month. If half of the employed did that in the U.S., it would generate more than forty-two billion dollars in revenue.

"For every dollar spent in a local retailer, that goes back into the community; people we hire, taxes we pay, stays in Chico," Mosier said.

For every 100-dollars spent in a locally owned store, sixty-eight dollars returns to the community through taxes and payroll. If you spend that money in a national chain, only forty-three dollars stays here. No money is gained through online shopping.

Businesses like Lyon Books are already on board with the project and some customers say they already prefer to keep it local.

Mosier is now trying to spread the word by passing out flyers at her shop. "It's difficult to get the word out because you don't have the advertising money to spend on it but the beauty of this program is you don't need it, you just have to say this is what your going to do."


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