3/50 Project Aims To Support Local Businesses

Wednesday, July 15th 2009, 5:02 pm
By: News On 6

By Rick Wells, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The down economy is threatening businesses of all sizes.  And, we all probably know three family-owned businesses we would miss if they closed.  That's at the heart of a new program called the 3/50 Project.  One Tulsa business owner is putting a new spin on buying local.

Mary Wilkins owns the Blossom Shoppe, near 41st and Hudson.  It has been an independently owned business in Tulsa for more than 100 years.  For most small family-owned businesses, the tight economy is no fun.

"It is more difficult now than it was a year ago," said Mary Wilkins.

She says they've cut where they can and they're still open. There are a couple of times each year when the florist business really takes off.  One is Valentine's Day.

"It was not as good as it had been in previous years," said Mary Wilkins.  "Mother's Day was a little better."

Wilkins was looking through an industry magazine and found a brand new program called the 3/50 Project.  It encourages people to think of three small businesses they'd hate to see disappear, and pledge to spend $50 there.

"Buy local, keeping things local.  This is just another way to keep that in focus," said Mary Wilkins.

The government says for every $100 we spend at independently owned businesses, about $68 stay in the local economy and help generate billions of dollars in the process.

"We're coming back a little bit, but it's baby steps," said Mary Wilkins.

She says she knows of four or five other local businesses that have registered for the 3/50 Project.  Those that have will have a sticker in the window and fliers explaining the program.

She says it's not down economy that's has surprised her, but the reaction to it.

"It's been great for romance.  We're doing more weddings than we have in the last two or three years," said Mary Wilkins.

Perhaps many of us are thinking more about we than me.