Why Supporting Local Businesses is More Important Than Ever: Let’s Look at The 3/50 Project & How You Can Participate!

I am a huge advocate for supporting local businesses. You will see me out & about every week posting about a local business wherever I go. As an entrepreneur, I completely understand the importance of small businesses supporting one another!

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on businesses globally. Small businesses, in particular, have been hit hard, and many have had to close their doors permanently. This has left many communities without the local businesses that they rely on for goods and services.

Supporting local businesses is more important than ever before. When we shop locally, we’re not only supporting the local economy, but we’re also creating jobs and promoting a sense of community. The 3/50 Project is a simple yet powerful initiative that encourages consumers to support their local businesses by spending $50 at three local businesses each month. In this article, we’ll explore why supporting local businesses is so important and take a closer look at the 3/50 Project.

The Dearborn Shop

This is Jacob & Lizzie, and they are the Owners of The Dearborn Shop. They started out as vendors of mine at The Dearborn Farmers & Artisans Market back in 2020. Now, with the support of the local community and other entrepreneurs, they were able to open this beautiful shop up in the heart of West Dearborn, Michigan. They help support other entrepreneurs by offering goods crafted by several other small business owners… including me! You can find my cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats in this beautiful shop. Be sure to tell ’em Jean sent you!

The Importance of Supporting Local Businesses

There are many reasons why supporting local businesses is essential. Firstly, when we shop locally, we’re supporting the local economy. When we spend money at a local business, that money stays within the community, creating a ripple effect that benefits everyone. Local businesses are also more likely to source their goods and services from other local businesses, further boosting the local economy.

Secondly, supporting local businesses helps create jobs. Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and when they thrive, they create jobs for local people. By supporting local businesses, we’re helping to create jobs and keep our communities strong.

Finally, shopping locally promotes a sense of community. Local businesses are owned and operated by people who live in the community. When we shop locally, we’re supporting our neighbors and helping to create a sense of community pride. Local businesses also often support community initiatives, such as local sports teams or charities, helping to strengthen the fabric of the community.

How the 3/50 Project Works

The 3/50 Project is a simple initiative that encourages consumers to support their local businesses. The idea is to spend $50 at three local businesses each month. This may not sound like a lot, but it can make a significant difference to small businesses.

To get involved in the 3/50 Project, all you need to do is choose three local businesses that you want to support. It could be your favorite coffee shop, a local boutique, or a family-owned restaurant. The idea is to spend $50 across these three businesses each month. You can choose different businesses each month or stick with the same ones.

The 3/50 Project has a website where you can find local businesses to support. You can search by zip code or city and find a list of participating businesses in your area. You can also use social media to share your support for local businesses and encourage others to get involved.

The Impact of Supporting Local Businesses

The impact of supporting local businesses is significant. When we shop locally, we’re helping to create jobs, boost the local economy, and promote a sense of community. Here are some stats and facts that demonstrate the impact of supporting local businesses:

  • For every $100 spent at a local business, $68 stays in the local economy, compared to $43 for non-local businesses.
  • Small businesses create two out of every three new jobs in the United States.
  • Local businesses are more likely to support local charities and community initiatives.
  • Shopping locally reduces the environmental impact of transportation and shipping.

By supporting local businesses, we’re not only helping to keep our communities strong, but we’re also making a positive impact on the environment and society as a whole.

Photo of Inner Sage: The Studio, The Shop, The Lifestyle
See my Podcast with Owner Jamie Garrison as we chat it up about small business ownership.

How to Get Involved in the 3/50 Project

Getting involved in the 3/50 Project is easy. All you need to do is choose three local businesses that you want to support and spend $50 across these businesses each month. You can find participating businesses on the 3/50 Project website or by searching on social media.

You can also encourage others to get involved. Share your support for local businesses on social media and encourage your friends and family to do the same. You can also leave positive reviews for local businesses online, which can help attract new customers and support the local economy.

This photo is of myself & Tim Travis, Owner of Goldner Walsh Garden & Home.
Listen to our Winter and Spring Podcasts.

Join me at my Monthly Classes at this beautiful & historic greenhouse & garden center.

You can also purchase my cookbook, Lovingly Seasoned Eats and Treats in their beautiful gift shop as well!

Other Ways to Support Local Businesses

While the 3/50 Project is a great way to support local businesses, there are other ways to get involved. Here are some additional ways to support local businesses:

  • Shop at farmers’ markets or local craft fairs.
  • Use local service providers, such as accountants, lawyers, and contractors.
  • Buy gift cards for local businesses to give as gifts or use later.
  • Leave positive reviews for local businesses on Yelp or other review sites.
  • Attend local events and festivals.

By supporting local businesses in these additional ways, we’re helping to create a thriving local economy and a strong sense of community.

Benefits of Supporting Local Businesses

There are many benefits to supporting local businesses. Here are just a few:

  • Local businesses create jobs and boost the local economy.
  • Shopping locally reduces the environmental impact of transportation and shipping.
  • Local businesses often offer unique products and services that can’t be found elsewhere.
  • Supporting local businesses helps to create a sense of community pride and identity.

By supporting local businesses, we’re not only helping to create a strong local economy, but we’re also making a positive impact on the environment and society as a whole.

Rustic Leaf Brewing, Located in Waterford, Michigan!

Challenges Faced by Local Businesses

While supporting local businesses is crucial, it’s not always easy. Small businesses face many challenges, including competition from larger corporations, rising costs, and changing consumer habits. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made these challenges more significant, with many businesses struggling to stay afloat.

As consumers, we can help by supporting local businesses whenever possible. If we want to keep our communities vibrant and thriving, we need to make a conscious effort to shop locally and support small businesses.

I certainly hope you are encouraged to garden. Even if you start with only two or three of these things, that’s a great start! 

Supporting local businesses is more important than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on small businesses, and many have had to close their doors permanently. However, by supporting local businesses, we can help to create jobs, boost the local economy, and promote a sense of community.

The 3/50 Project is a simple yet powerful initiative that encourages consumers to support their local businesses by spending $50 at three local businesses each month. By getting involved in the 3/50 Project and supporting local businesses in other ways, we can make a real difference to our communities.

So, the next time you’re thinking about making a purchase, consider shopping locally. By doing so, you’re not only supporting your community, but you’re also making a positive impact on society as a whole. Together, we can create a strong and thriving local economy that benefits everyone.

Other great Local Resources:~Edible WOW Magazine: This is one of the best resources out there for Southwest Michigan www.ediblewow.com

~Edible Communities: web site to direct you to an Edible publication in your area www.ediblecommunities.com

~Local Harvest: list of producers in every state www.localharvest.org
~Google Farmers Markets to find local ones in your area
~Local Dirt: listing for producers www.localdirt.com
There are gobs more out there and thanks to the internet you can find just about anything you want LOCALLY!

Dave & I at L.A. Café getting breakfast & some cool gifts!

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Until next time friends, eat fresh, shop local, & have a happy day,

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Gift Giving Ideas and More Yummy Winter Thyme Recipes

There is a light dusting of snow on the ground and the air is chilled… next Friday will herald in the first day of Winter… my personal countdown to beloved Spring.  I have Spring in the hoop house despite what the calender says right now… but today I am not feeling very well and thought I would do something else I love that I have been neglecting… “For Dragonflies and Me”… an essentially all of you who read this.  The days have been growing shorter and the sunshine diminishing more and more each day.  Today is a sunny day and I will be happy for that. Here are some great gift giving ideas for those of you that want to do something extra special along with some ideas on drying and freezing your herbs and of course a few recipes to use them in. Enjoy friends.

We are in the heart of the Gift Giving season and us crafty people are always looking for that extra unique gift that we can hand make for those special people in our lives.  Gift Baskets are a fun and super easy way to create a one of a kind gift.  Although we need to look out of the box, or should I say ‘basket’ and look around for unique and original ‘containers’ to hold the gifts!  Here a few ideas that you can expand on… just remember, be creative and have fun, that special person will know that you spent extra time in this gift of love!  Please remember that there are many Winter Farmers Markets going on right now, including our farms in Downtown Farmington, The Old Winery and we’ve got over 30 vendors there every Saturday that can easily help you create many of these novel gifts…

*Gift for the Localvore~ Container: Go to the local Farmers Market that you know the 

I have a Bolga Basket and just love it!

recipiant attends and purchase a shopper bag from the market if they have one or purchase a large shopping type basket from the Basket Vendor there.  If the market has neither of these, then purchase one from Bolga Baskets- a wonderful basket that is hand made in countries by the poor- http://www.bolgabaskets.com  Contents: Again, patronize the local farmers market and purchase items from the vendors there to fill the container.  You can often get gift certificates from vendors and this will allow them to purchase what they like- especially from meat, egg, dairy and produce vendors- things that won’t keep in a ‘basket’but need to be included!  You can also include a gift certificate from a local restuarant that purchases and uses locally sourced items.  Get a copy of Edible WOW http://www.ediblewow.com Magazine if you live in Michigan, it is the best source anywhere to find those local goodies.  They too hold classes that would be a great gift!
Depending on where you are located, go to www,ediblecommunities.com to find an Edible Publication near you!

Garden Caddy would
make excellent

*Gift for the gardener~ Container Ideas: large Terra Cotta or Clay pot, Garden Caddy Bag, Old Wooden tool box from Antique or thrift shop, Wicker basket. Contents:  Hand tools- trowel, shovel, scratcher, weed digger; gardening gloves, pad for kneeling, few cute garden name tags, garden step stone, several seed packs- include veggies, flower and herbs, gift certificate for a seed catalog with the catalog- my choice would be Baker Creek Seed http://www.rareseed.com, gardening book- my personal choice would be “Tomatoes Love Carrots” by, Louise Riott, gardening magazine- my first choice would be Organic Gardening published by Rodale, www.organicgardening.com

*Gift for the baker~  Container: big ceramic or stoneware bowl-, large cookie sheet, 9×13 baking dish, large enamel ware bowl.  Contents: Bag of flour, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, other flavored chips, sprinkles, sugar, vanilla, almond and maple extracts, salt, baking powder and soda, walnuts, pecans, rolling pin, hot pads, glove and towel set, cookie cutters, cookbook, gift certificate for a class at a local shop.

*Gift for the cook~ Container: Enamelware Roaster, Stainless Steel Stock Pot, Cast Iron Skillet. Contents: Several types of salt and pepper- Pink Hymalain, White pepper corns and grinder, several rubs, spices, cooking utensils, hot pads and glove,  cookbook for using LOCAL ingredients, gift certificate for a local cooking class- check out http://www.ediblewow.com for local classes.

*Gift for the griller~ Container: Roaster. Contents: Grilling tools, rubs, several Bar-b-que sauces- pick up some at your local Farmers Market, hot pads and gloves, salts & peppers and grinder, cookbook for grilling and a gift certificate to a local grocery store.


*Gift for the sewer~ Container: sewing basket, wicker basket. Contents:  Scissors, sewing needles, variety of thread, pins, measuring tape, seam ripper, buttons, couple spools of decorative ribbon, rotary cutter and mat, thread organizer, sewing machine needles, gift certificate to a local store for a class.  If you want to go all out, get them a sewing machine too!

*Gift for the Scrapbooker/ Stamper: Container: Any type of Scrapbook Tote, Large wicker basket. Contents- oh my where do I begin- this is one of my personal fave’s!!!  Paper Card Stock Stack pads- 12×12, stickers, ribbons, stamps & pads, paper cutter, adhesives, markers, chalks, pencils, any other accesories you can find. Scrapbook magazine and even better a subscription, gift certificate to a local scrapbook/stamping store for a class! I think it would be easiest to stick with a theme for the contents.  If you really want to go all out for a gift, pick up a die cut machine and a cartridge.

*Gift for the shopper~ Container: Large pretty shopper bag, large Wicker basket meant for shopping. Contents: Gift certificates to a few local shops in town taking into consideration what the ‘shopper’ enjoys shopping for! Nice pair of walking shoes, directory of shops, thrift stores or whatever else she likes, GPS.

Gift for the reader- Container: Wicker Basket, cloth bag. Contents: several books by favorite author, Readers journal, gift certificate to local bookstore, a few handmade book marks, magazines that would interest the person, mug with coffee, tea and cocoa packs, lap blanket to cozy up with while reading. If the recipiant is a techie- get them an e-reader.

*Gift for a pet~ Container: Dog or Cat bed. Contents: new dishes for food & water, home made treats- go to your local farmers market and find a treat maker and support local, toys, sweater, new leash & collar, gift certificate for a grooming at a local pet salon.

The point I hope I have made here when gift giving is source out LOCAL items to give… forget the prepack stuff and slow down. This time of year doesn’t have to be a stress induced manic moment… take a breath, get a note pad and pen and start jotting down the people who are giving too… think about their likes and start making your list!  You will have as much fun putting them together as they will opening them!

Cabbage Strudel– makes 2 rolls
8 tbsp butter
1 c chopped onion
8 c thinly sliced cabbage
1 c shredded  carrots
1 tsp salt
1/4 c shredded cheese– Swiss or other
3/4 c bread crumbs
1 tbsp snipped fresh parsley or thyme
1/8 tsp black pepper
12 sheets frozen ph7yllo dough– thawed
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 15×10 inch baking pan– set aside.
2. 2.  in a large skillet melt 2 tbsp of the butter and add onion; cook about 5 minutes or till tender.  Add cabbage & carrots; sprinkle with salt.  Cook about 10 minutes or till tender.  Remove from heat; stir in chasse, 1/2 c of bread crumbs, pepper & herb
3. In a saucepan melt the remaining butter.  Unroll phyllo dough, cover with waxed paper & damp towel.  Brush with some butter; top with 1 teaspoon of crumbs.  Repeat layers with five more sheets phyllo., melted butter & crumbs.  Spread half the cabbage filling over phyllo layers, leaving a 2 inch border on one of the long sides & both short sides.  Fold both short sides over filling; roll up from l long side.  Place roll, seam side down, in prepared pan.  Repeat to make a second roll.
4. Bake about 35 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack; cool for 30 minutes. To serve cut with serrated knife into slices.

Swiss Chard, Spinach or Beet Greens. Combine all if you want to!

15-20 leaves
1/4 c Olive Oil
2 or 3 eggs

1/2 c shredded cheese– your choice
Salt to taste
1. Wash leaves, cut out white or colored midrib.
2. Tear leaves into bite size pieces
3. Stir fry leaves in hot oil till evenly coated and wilted– sprinkle w/ salt.
4. Place leaves in baking dish– pour beaten eggs to cover– sprinkle cheese over top.
5. Bake @ 350 until eggs are set and cheese melted- Appox. 20-30 mins.

Happy Day,