Brick and mortars

I’ve been pretty vocal on The 3/50 Project’s Facebook page today about the overwhelming risks passage of SOPA or PIPA would have on independent brick and mortars. Here’s a cheat sheet to get you through the muck.

SOPA: Stop Online Piracy Act (the House bill)
PIPA: Protect Intellectual Property Act (the Senate bill)
• Main difference: SOPA extends to also include streaming content
• Main risk: While the initial focus was international pirating of video and music, the bills have been overwritten to include all domestic U.S. sites, including social media, making site/page/blog owners responsible for fan posts and content

A simple example of SOPA overkill making a small business owner responsible for someone else’s unethical behavior: (For the stationery store owners and printers in the group, think: Bride brings in her own graphic or monogram design…)  [click here to continue…]

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From the “Weekend News” segment on Saturday Night Live, November 5, 2011:

“Macy’s announced this week that its flagship store in Manhattan will undergo a $400 million renonvation that will create the world’s largest women’s shoe department, featuring more than 300,000 pairs of shoes, and—as always—one cashier.”


“Several department stores have announced that on Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving and the beginning of the Christmas shopping season—they will open their stores at midnight because nothing puts people in the giving spirit like enduring a long, stressful holiday with their family, hopping in the car half drunk in the middle of the night, and battling an angry mob over a tennis bracelet.”

On behalf of the mom and pop businesses everywhere, thank you, Seth Meyers. Big time.

(If you haven’t seen it yet, check out Keep the Cheer HereThe 3/50 Project’s 2011 holiday campaign.)



Apparently, there’s yet another crazy idea floating around in Washington–and by “crazy,” I mean “no one has stopped to consider the ramifications of this on Main Street.” A bill recently introduced by Rep. David Schweikert (Ariz.) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Texas) is aimed at retiring the dollar bill.

Okay. At first glance, the math makes sense, given what paper currency costs to produce.


When you think about it a moment longer, from a local brick and mortar’s point of view, a few glaring realities come to light:  [click here to continue…]


Independent merchants in the hobby, craft, and framing industries have long spoken about misleading practices by Michaels stores—most specifically, advertising deep discounts while actually charging full price.

Well, as the saying goes, the chickens have come home to roost.  [click here to continue…]


It’s not often (read: extremely rare) I mention politics on the blog—and (to date) never, ever on The 3/50 Project’s Facebook page. But today might be different.

I received a forwarded email from my father imploring its readers to support a mythical Congressional Reform Act of 2011 (something of note since Dad’s not a fan of forwards). This is the fourth? fifth? sixth? time I’ve received this particular missive from someone, reflecting just how frustrated we all are with Congress.

Which got me thinking: Wouldn’t it be something if the guys on the Hill had to operate by the same standards as independent brick and mortars on Main Street?  [click here to continue…]


“Independents Day” (spelling intentional) has been used a lot to promote the little guy:

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