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LARSON: To keep money in the community, just do the math

Susan Larson

Susan Larson

I love the math. I love math, period, but the philosophy behind the 3/50 Project really gets me excited. The 3/50 Project, whose mission is to “save the brick and mortar our nation is built on,” is simply one way to keep money in the local community.

According to founder Cinda Baxter, “If half the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue to local communities. For every $100 spent in locally independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here.”

Now the only problem I have with this is that we easily spend $50 a month going to Will Henry’s every Wednesday night with friends. According to this formula, there’s nothing left to spend anywhere else. However, I saw no rule that limits the number of places to three or the money spent to $50 a month.

We also like to wine and dine at Colossus Pizza and for special occasions, we love Three Blind Mice, a new upscale restaurant in Lilburn. And at all these places, we often run into someone we know, another added bonus.

When I entertain at home, I get all my goods at Ena’s Gift and Party Supply. Not only does Ena have the best prices, but I get to pick up on an ongoing conversation with her and her husband Edgar about our kids and the progress Edgar is making on the book he is writing about his family. And for gourmet gifts, I always find something unique at Taylor Made Gift Baskets

When anyone new moves to Lilburn, I love treating them to lunch at Always Fresh, where owner Joel Guldenschuh serves fresh fruits and vegetables he buys at the farmers market in Forest Park every morning before sunrise. Yes, even with gas prices where they are, he still makes that trek to provide the best for his customers.

When I have car problems my husband can’t fix, Eddie’s Automotive has two points in its favor. Not only do I support the local economy, but I also can drop off my car, then walk home and back on the Greenway Trail, thus saving a little gas money and allowing that much more I can spend, let’s say, on a latte at the Lilburn Café.

I know every city in Gwinnett has lots of small businesses that keep the community alive. I don’t have enough space in one column to cover them all, but I do have lots of column space to fill in the future. If you have a favorite local business where you would like to see your neighbors apply the 3/50 rule, please let me know. The more we promote the 3/50 rule, the more money we keep in our own communities. And the more suggestions you send in, the more you support your local community columnist.

For more info, visit www.the350project.net

Susan Larson is a free lance writer who supports her local community of Lilburn. Email her at susanlarson4@yahoo.com.