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Portland tries 3-50 project to save business

July 31, 2009

From the desk of the Executive Director
Portland Neighborhood Business Associations
August Newsletter

There are a couple of interesting projects going on that might be of interest to you while you stay out of the heat wave we’re experiencing.  One is called “the 3/50 project” and it is aimed at helping local businesses to survive in these tough economic times. The idea is for each person to think about the three independent businesses they’d miss most if they were gone and to ask each person to spend $50 each month with each of those three businesses. The project estimates that if just half the employed U.S. population did so that their purchases would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue for those businesses. They further estimate that for every $100 spent in independently owned store, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If that $100 is spent at a national chain, only $43 stays local. And if it is spent online, nothing comes home. These are certainly some interesting numbers. Lots more information is available at

Another interesting one is the World Flag Project. Its sponsors have created a visual work of art in the form of a single flag containing the flags of all the nations of the world. The project sponsors are encouraging local merchants to spend $60 each to purchase a 3′ x 5′ flag (including pole and bracket) to be flown by all participating merchants during specific periods of time. A portion of the proceeds go to support local schools and other non-profit organizations chosen by the sponsoring organization. In the Portland area, the Hawthorne Boulevard Business Association will be using the project to attract shoppers and media attention as participating merchants fly the World Flag from October 2nd – 11th. Proceeds will benefit the Sunnyside Environmental School. The worldflagproject folks are looking to partner with additional sponsoring organizations and nonprofits in the Portland area. If your organization has a group you’d like to support, this looks like an interesting way to do so. More information is available at

If you know of other projects like these that might be of interest to your fellow business people, drop me a line at

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