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COVER STORY | Vol. 17, No. 5, March 11, 2010
(Stay Local)

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2nd Annual Stay Local Issue

IN $10 at 10
Simple spending shift can help boost local economy

On March 11, 2009, amid the national media frenzy surrounding the nation's failing economy, lack of consumer confidence and dismal economic forecast, retail consultant and professional speaker Cinda Baxter decided to create a message that was positive and achievable.

She wrote a blog post that gave birth to the 3/50 Project, aimed at supporting independent, brick and mortar businesses. The concept is simple: Pick three independently-owned businesses you'd miss most if they were gone, and spend $50 per month between them.

According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, for every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. If you spend that at a national chain only $43 stays here. Buy online and nothing comes home.

Independent News has our own fantastically simple and achievable spending goal: IN $10 at 10. Just pick 10 independent locally-owned businesses and spend at least $10 at each in a day, month or year.

Think you can't afford to shop locally? It's easier--and more affordable--than you might think.

Here are just a few examples of local options for common purchases:

Birthday card at Sassafras Stationery & Gifts: $2.50
Thursday night dinner at End of the Line Cafe: $9.95
Lunch special at Geno's Pizza & Italian Restaurant: $6.25
Keens Beans 12 oz. bag of organic coffee: $9.95
Wednesday Dollarama night at Liberty Lanes: $1 per game
Bottle of Lote 44 Malbec 2009 at Artesana Fine Wines: $8
General admission to Pensacola Pelicans games: $8
Yoga class at Abhaya Yoga Center with a ten class package: $9
First-run movie at Silver Screen Theatre: $6.50 (For $11 you'll get dinner, too.)
All Baskets, Burgers and Sandwiches at Paradise Bar & Grill: $3.75-$9.75

Even if they don't fall into the $10 at 10 category, most local businesses still offer prices that are competitive with their big-box chain competition.

For example, you can get a Rolex watch from Jewelers Trade Shop or an engagement ring from Elebash's for a price that's pretty close to what you would pay at the mall or online. The only difference? Good luck getting the Internet to change your watch battery for free or a big jewelry store to clean your ring while you wait. See, part of the beauty of shopping with the "little guy" is that you get treated like the "big guy" every time.

We're not asking you to completely and to forever swear off the Internet and chains. Instead, The 3/50 Project, IN $10 at 10, and our Stay Local Issue are about balance and redirecting some of your spending money back to locally-owned independent businesses.

Simply think about where your dollars are best invested, consider the greater amount of revenue local businesses return to the community, then purchase accordingly. You don't have to clean your wallet out either. Just a simple shift in your spending habits can make a huge impact on our local economy and the independent businesses that make our community unique.

More from our 2nd Annual Stay Local Issue:

Branding Out

Expert Gives Insight On Making Name For Local Businesses

R.I.P. Local Flavor
Staying Local More Important Now Than Ever

IN Stay Local Survey

Friends of the IN Featured Businesses

Featured Business Directory

Other Stay Local Movements