A Blogazine, based out of Park Slope, Brooklyn, that features fun and interesting articles. Topics include: parenting, society, real estate, career, style, spirituality and more. Written contributions are always welcome!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The 3/50 Project: Buy Local and Help Businesses Stay Afloat

Mark Caserta

It has been a while since I last contributed to this blog. Why? Well, the truth is, I've had a lot on my mind. 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.

Why? Well, the truth is that our stores and restaurants bring walkable services to our community, increase the number of concerned eyeballs on the streets (improving safety) and contribute to increased property values for nearby residents. Even better, money spent on local businesses tends to stay in the community and borough, making it more like an investment.

If you are concerned about small businesses in Park Slope, I am asking that you check out the website the350project.net, which asks you to do something simple, but critical:

* Pick your 3 favorite small, locally-owned businesses,
* Spend at least $50 total in theses stores on a monthly basis.

According to the 3/50 Project, if just half of the employed population spent $50 a month on locally-owned businesses, it would generate $42.6 billion of revenue! Now that's an economic stimulus plan that we can all live with!

Do I have your attention? Good. So, please, take a look at the350project.net, consider participating and spread the word!

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Mark Caserta has over 10 years of experience in environmental policy and politics. In 2004, he opened an eco-friendly home and lifestyle store in Park Slope, Brooklyn known as 3r Living, with his wife Samantha.

Their products are carefully selected with the principles of reducing waste, reusing unwanted or discarded materials, and recycling in mind. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. 3r. Mark is also a regular contributor to Hip Slope Mama.