Tag Archives: retail

Keepin’ it local

29 Jul

Thanks to Sarah Keller of Knot Another Hat, for pointing me to The 3/50 Project. This is yet another way to simply say, “Buy local.” But it’s a clever branding effort, led by a retailing consultant, with numbers to buttress the power of spending with local merchants.

The project is more robust than this reductionist version, but it’s enough to think that if you picked three businesses that really matter to you, and that if half the employed population dropped $50 a month at one or all three of them, the combined economic boost each month would come to $42.6 billion. Two more numbers to keep in mind. For every $100 spent with a local independent store, $68 stays local and works to support local families and other local businesses and local government. Spend that $100 at a chain store, and $43 stays local. And shop online, nothing stays local (unless you’re buying something made locally, which begs the question of why you couldn’t find it and buy it locally in the first place).

I’m all about local. Yes, I shop in chain stores, including Wal-Mart, but things we do of necessity (i.e. can’t find that item anywhere else) don’t mean we dislike or wouldn’t prefer to shop at a locally owned store. So, before you default to what you may perceive to be the “lowest prices always,” think about who else might have it, and how you could help your own business and job situation by aiming $$ in that direction.

Example? WM has a hardware department of sorts. But who doesn’t love Hood River Supply, which has everything you could need, at very affordable prices. OK, maybe you could get something a bit cheaper at a big box east or west, but factor in the time and cost of gas, and is it really worth it?

Cinda Baxter, who started the 3/50 Project, also runs the retailer-to-retailer web site, retailspeaks. Check it out to network with people in the same boat.

The Oregonian’s economic report favors Gorge cities

9 Jun

If you missed it on the dead-tree delivery Sunday morning, check out the major splash given Hood River and The Dalles in The Oregonian. The paper took a pretty favorable economic read on Hood River, and in even grander fashion, noted that The Dalles has moved beyond the boom and bust cycles of the aluminum industry. Anyone who has spent any time there in recent years knows that The Dalles has some great stuff going on. Despite the disparaging attitudes of some of my neighbors in da Pearl (I mean, da Hood), The Dalles has great people, great history, great architecture … and, yes, some rough edges. It’s a working town, after all, not all about latte this, latte that. Hell, much as I love our local wines, if I want to drink a couple of bottles a day, I can only afford the Grocery Outlet wine bin. Check it out — last week they were closing out Banrock Station Syrah for $2.99 a bottle.

A big corner goes looking for business

14 May

Spoke today with North Cheatham, owner of the old Paris Fair building at the corner of 4th and Oak Street, as he was posting up a sign advertising his main level space for lease. He says he has a couple of somewhat serious lookers, but nothing firm yet to replace Annz Panz, which is done with its closeout sale. This is a key location for downtown, and could be a major traffic builder. If you know of anyone looking for a roomy space — one with a nice kitchen already in place — send them to North at 541-386-6784. We asked North to share details about his space, so we could share it with you. Once we get info, we will pass it on.