Park Slope shop owner: Buy locally, or we’re history

picture-851On today’s Hip Slope Mama blog, Mark Caserta of 3r Living—a  shop selling all kinds of ernviro gifty things like this $36 sushi set—asks Brooklynites to participate in the 3/50 project, where you pledge to spend $50 a month at each of three independently owned business you really like.

Otherwise, it’s going to be curtains for a lot of them, he writes. Of course, local vs. chain shopping is a perennial dilemma for the cheapskate, and never more than now.

Caserta writes:

Since last September, business along Park Slope’s commercial streets has fallen off significantly and my store, 3r Living, has struggled to stay afloat in these difficult, uncertain times.

Of course, many of our customers are feeling the same pain, which is why business is down in the first place and why empty storefronts are starting to litter 5th and 7th Avenues. The economy, of course, will one day make a comeback. In the meantime, though, I want to make a pitch to our Park Slope neighbors to try to support their local stores and restaurants, more than ever.

According to the 3/50 project, of every $50 you spend locally, $34returns to the community through taxes, payroll, etc., as opposed to $21.50 if you buy from a chain and zero if you buy online.

Not everyone has $150 a month to spend on funny onesies, scented candles and sensible shoes, which seem to fill so many stores in the Slope. (Or a single chocolate bar at the BKLYN Larder, which is about what $50 buys there.) One solution: being chintzy with your staple purchases but doing all your splurgy gift shopping at the local places like 3r. Sushi anyone?

Are you spending $50 a month at local stores? If not, why not?  If so, where are you spending it?

[via Hip Slope Mama]


  1. Hey there,

    Great blog post; thanks for helping to get the word out about how important it is to remember locally owned businesses in our daily lives.

    For clarification, The 3/50 Project doesn’t ask that you spend $50 x three stores, but that you reallocate $50 of your current monthly spending back to locally owned businesses. No need to up the budget (unless, of course, you want to, which no one will argue with). Just need to think before you spend.

    Here’s to big things ahead for all the little guys out there,

    Cinda Baxter
    The 3/50 Project

Leave a Reply