Ahhh, the social media vultures have arrived….

Now that Facebook admins are seeing the impact of EdgeRank on each post (the frightfully low percentage of audience reached that was discussed here), a few are beginning to panic. How do they increase their fan reach? How do they hang onto current fans? How do they extend into Twitter? Google+? YouTube?  [click here to continue…]


Sorry ’bout the long title, but I need this to blast to Twitter too…

A respected financial publication wants to interview merchants who fit all three of the following criteria:

  • Are actively working in tandem with other local businesses, promoting The 3/50 Project
  • Are in communities that have seen positive impact as a result of The 3/50 Project
  • Are located in one of the following states: MT, WY, CO, NE, IA, MO, KS, IL, WI, MI, ND, SD, or MN

If that’s you, please contact me via email here, as soon as possible.

The publication’s audience is made up of local community banks in the states listed above. The writer is looking for positive stories about communities who got involved in our movement, then thrived as a result. This is not a reporter looking for an ambush—he’s the “real deal,” and very excited about what it is we’re doing.

Gotta love good press!



The 3/50 Project has been blessed with a lot of great media exposure since launching nearly three years ago. Coverage has been consistently positive, upbeat, and frequent, on both the national and local level, beyond what other “buy local” or “shop local” organizations typically receive. That, I chalk up to two things: (a) our positive, achievable message of balanced spending with all types of independent brick and mortars, and (b) the enthusiasm of those merchants, who breathe life into the Project every day.

But make no mistake…wonderful media coverage plays a big role, and it’s reporters like Nick Winkler that help move the needle forward, as they say. Thanks not only to Nick, but to the producers at KSTP-TV (ABC) for recognizing an important story, then letting the local merchants in it shine.

I couldn’t be more proud.


I go to great lengths to keep politics out of the blog—would rather focus on the things small business owners have first hand control over than invite the “aromatic waft” accompanying most political debate these days. This morning, however, Bob Schieffer (host, Face the Nation, CBS) delivered an editorial that really resonates in my brick-and-mortar lovin’ heart:  [click here to continue…]


This is the kind of stuff that makes my blood boil.

The stationery industry has faced it for years—brides come in to touch, feel, and get professional advice while searching for wedding invitations, then take that valuable knowledge online, or worse, home as a DIY project.

The assumption that stores provide floor samples and professional advice for free is absurd; they pay for those samples, floor displays, and employee training, all for the purpose of making a sale. Using those resources with no intent of purchasing from the providing retailer is just this side of shoplifting. Yes, my language is strong on this point, but as a past retailer who watched the practice first hand, I know what it costs in very real financial terms.

A lot.

This past weekend, USA Today pushed the “use-em-and-leave-em” concept to the extreme, actually instructing consumers to peruse computers in local stores, then go online to make the purchase, complete with a list of online discounters happy to make the sale (on a brick and mortar’s back).

States are gasping for air as their sales tax revenues drop. Commercial property tax roles shrink as brick and mortars go dark. And our quality of life, directly connected to emergency services, sidewalks, streets, state agencies, school programs, park systems, etc. suffer.

I understand the high cost of outfitting kids for school. No question. But telling consumers it’s okay to “use” a local store’s resources with zero intent of making a purchase is just plain wrong.

Here’s the article—I hope retailers reading this will head on over there and add their two cents to the comments. Your voices need to be heard.


Local retailers praise The 3/50 Project

by Cinda Baxter on June 8, 2011

in Media, The 3/50 Project

Thanks to the ever-fabulous Joan Schnee, owner of On Paper in Columbus, Ohio, for doing such a terrific job of spreading the word about The 3/50 Project via their local NBC affiliate, WCMH-TV. Joan’s been a rock star on my radar for several years, both as a retailer and as someone who felt so passionately about high quality recycled paper that she founded a wholesale option, Green Paper Company.

Better yet? She’s a fabulous, smart, fun, delightful person to hang with, and someone I’ve been fortunate to call “friend” since shortly after we met.

Here’s a virtual high five to Joan and neighboring business owner, Mary Ernst (Rose Bredl Flowers), for all their dedication and hard work on behalf of the Project. It’s people like them who breathe life into what we do. Fabulous!


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This one, admittedly, warms my heart. You see, I grew up in Grand Island, Nebraska, where a field reporter from KOLN/KGIN TV (CBS) came to interview me about The 3/50 Project last week. Standing inside Conestoga Mall, the site of my first full time job (outside the family business), certainly brought on a couple of full circle moments...and a confession.* [click here to continue…]

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Please note: As of summer 2011, neither I nor The 3/50 Project support SBS. For an explanation, please see this. If I’d known then what I know now….

Are you half as excited as me about The 3/50 Project and Small Business Saturday getting facetime on Fox & Friends this Saturday morning? Well…..gonna have to be a teeny bit more patient since the time slot just slipped back an hour (which I see as a good thing, given how many folks will be lounging around that morning, thanks to the holiday).

Adjust your TiVo accordingly:

Saturday, November 27, 2010
Fox & Friends

Fox News Network (national, not the local stations)
6:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Small Business Saturday segment: Approximately 7:45 a.m. 8:40 a.m. EST*

* This is shown as EST, but most? all? times zones adjust going west (ex: it airs from 6:00-9:00 in CST zone too, with a one hour time delay). Check your listings, and be sure to look for the national Fox News channel…not your local Fox affiliate.

Now…how am I going to keep my feet on the ground for another two days??? Sheesh, this is exciting!