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Have you ever opened the paper and winced because you saw a headline saying that one of your favorite businesses was closing? Did you feel like your quality of life had just been diminished? The 3/50 Project is a national effort promoted in Los Alamos by the Chamber of Commerce to help avoid such unpleasant surprises.
The premise of the 3/50 Project is very simple. First, think of three businesses that make your life in Los Alamos much easier and/or more enjoyable. Then think about whether you’ve been supporting these businesses as well as you could. Have you been getting things online that you could get at a local business or have you been going off the Hill to Santa Fe or Albuquerque to shop for something that again you could easily get in town? Maybe it’s time to put your money where your quality of life is. Make a commitment to spend an average of $50 per month at the three businesses that you don’t want to lose.
That’s the simple idea behind the 3/50 Project.
One fun way to get involved is to enter the “Win Three 50’s” drawing by filling out the entry form at www.fyiLA.com. To enter, you list your three favorite local Chamber member businesses. The Chamber will share the results with the businesses to let them know you care.
Or you could just tell the businesses directly that they’re tops on your list. You might even talk to them about what you like most and what products or services could make your life even easier or better.
One of the advantages of living in a small town is that your actions can and do make a tangible difference.
You may not want to hear it, but we’re fast approaching the holiday shopping season. This is the perfect time to join the 3/50 Project and vote through your purchases for the local businesses of choice. We often spend too much time in front of computer screens these days, which can lead to repetitive stress trauma. To prevent ergonomic injuries, there are simple software programs that encourage you to take regular breaks. Maybe what we need to prevent economic injuries to local businesses is software that will pop up anytime we shop online and that will ask us to think whether we could buy the item we want locally. But maybe we have enough pop-ups in our lives these days. However, if you’ve taken the time to think about your top three and have made a personal commitment to support them, then I expect your own built-in pop-up screen will activate and you’ll turn off your computer and head for your local favorite business. That ol’ built-in pop-up screen should also be activated when you get the itch to go off the Hill to shop.
Community surveys have repeatedly indicated that the top opportunity for improvement is more options for local shopping. The county, the schools and the local business community are working hard to meet this need. In the meantime, by embracing the 3/50 Project each of us can make a personal statement that will sustain our local businesses and improve the products and services that make living in Los Alamos better and more enjoyable.
Bill Wadt is a member of the Board of Directors of Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation (LACDC). LACDC’s vision is “Vibrant community through a flourishing economy.” LACDC operates the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce, Los Alamos MainStreet, the UNM-LA Small Business Development Center, the Los Alamos Research Park, and other community and economic development activities.