A couple of months ago I received an email from fellow blogger and travel enthusiast Geggie of So … What Else, What Else, What Else?, who was promoting a fabulous new organization called The 3/50 Project.

The idea behind the project is to support your local businesses $50 at a time, or actually only $50 a month. Regular customers like you and me pledge to spend $50 a month combined at three locally-owned businesses we’d miss if they went out of business.

While it may seem easier in a place like Calabria, where fresh bakeries, homemade cheese shops and fresh produce stands are easy to find, I still have to make a point to shop with the little guys. As Joe pointed out in a recent post on Italyville, large supermarkets and shopping malls are popping up throughout southern Italy and Bella Calabria is at risk of losing its charm and becoming a cookie cutter destination like many others.

An idea that isn’t limited to southern Italy.

Back in my small southeast Texas hometown, my 8 year-old nephew was dismaid when yet another dollar store made its way to our main drag.

“I hate it,” he said sadly as he rode past the now-empty buildings of long-forgotten shops.

“Now Kountze looks like every other little town around here. We were just fine before … with Mama Jacks and Brookshire Bros.”

And so we were.

So, today I challenge you to join the 3/50 project and help keep small businesses alive in your community. Your kids-or at least your nieces and nephews-will thank you.

In Calabria, I’d miss the bakery and cheese shop that are next door to our bed and breakfast, as well as the shoe store in nearby Soverato. What about you? What businesses would you miss in your hometown?

5 Responses
  1. Who would want to eat BURGER KING in Italy!!! Who would want to eat Burger king full stop..why are they allowed to mess with little towns, the little shops should be there!!

    I think this 3/50 project is a brilliant idea, I would certainly support it đŸ™‚
    Like Judith said, I think most of the people who eat at the fast food places are the locals. Although I have been known to show my friends the beer counter at some of the Italian McDonalds … just for kicks.
    .-= Anne´s last blog ..Paris and Montmartre….. =-.

  2. I exceed that sum by quite a bit in the market. We do need supermarkets, but we need specialty shops too. It has taken me a whike to get used to buying 10 envelopes at a time from the tabaccheria and watching the shopkeeper take them out of the box of 500 I used to buy. But everybody does it here.

    As to who eats at fast food? WE only have McDs at Perugia… it is the Italians of course.
    Ha. I have a mental image of you counting out your envelopes! lol. And no, we don’t eat at McDs here, either. Although they just did open up a McDrive … I’m interested to see how that goes down!
    .-= Judith in Umbria´s last blog ..Zucchini still producing? Zucchini Pie =-.

  3. j

    I shop at the local hardware store rather than the DIY at the mall because even though the prices are higher, I get service. They know me and my kids. They even let me borrow tools like if I need to change a sink washer. Many people think it is cheaper to shop at the big box stores, but quality of life isn’t factored in. Not to mention the money staying in the community.
    You are right. Could you see someone at Lowe’s loaning you tools???

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