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The 3/50 Project: Pick 3, spend 50

You’ve heard of the 80/20 rule: — 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work.

Then, there’s the 3/50 rule — one with much more impact. Here’s the premise:

• Think about three independently-owned businesses here in Pagosa that you would miss most if they were gone. Shop there and encourage others to do the same.

• 50 refers to the idea that if just half the employed U.S. population spent $50 a month in locally-owned stores, their purchases would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenues.

For every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. If you spend $100 in a national chain, only $43 stays here (Pagosa doesn’t have many of those stores, yet), and if you spend that $100 online — nothing remains here. (There is also the claim that money spent locally passes through local businesses seven times.)

The 3/50 Project isn’t really anything new, but with the use of the Internet and social marketing (you should have attended the last Business Bites luncheon), another high-impact way to communicate the importance of shopping locally was born. The 3/50 Project was created by Cinda Baxter in March of 2009. Cinda was a retail merchant for 14 years before becoming a retail consultant and professional speaker. After posting a blog and then creating a flyer and then a Web site, the 3/50 Project took off. Her mission is to strengthen brick-and-mortar, independent businesses.

The Pagosa Chamber has been spearheading a “Shop Pagosa First” campaign for years. We appreciate the businesses that post our shopping posters in their windows. We will be coming out with decals soon that take up less space and provide a long-lasting impression. Along with Shopping Pagosa First, don’t forget to purchase Pagosa Perks as gifts, rewards or employee incentives. These Pagosa dollars can be spent only in Pagosa, at hundreds of businesses, thus giving the recipient a choice of where to utilize gift checks.

With the holidays soon upon us, think about shopping in our community first, and think about the 3/50 Rule when you patronize restaurants, retail, salons and other brick-and-mortar businesses. Can’t spend $50 per month? Just try and spend as much as possible locally. In doing so, you support neighbors, friends, organizations and those who live here in Pagosa.

If you would like to find out more about the 3/50 Project, go online to www.the350project.net.

Business Bites: Help and health

Just about everyone works in the public arena. With flu season upon us, we expect to get sick with either the flu or a cold.

Now, we throw the H1N1 virus into the mix.

How can employers educate their employees about health services available in our community? Well, they can attend the Oct. 15 Business Bites.

San Juan Basin Health will provide information about their complement of services — about who qualifies for assistance, and how employers can utilize the services of San Juan Basin Health and direct their employees to this organization. Representatives of San Juan Basin Health will also discuss the H1N1 virus, protection efforts, detection of symptoms and treatment. How can you keep your work environment healthy with constant public interaction?

Most of us know the basics of how to stay healthy, but do we encourage the practice in our workplace? If, as employers, we cannot offer health benefits or we need assistance, we should be educated about how we can assist our staff to obtain vaccinations, food assistance, treatment programs and other important services San Juan Basin Health offers. Do not take the current virulent strains of flu lightly — take precautions and be a responsible member of the business community.

Representatives from San Juan Basin Health will conductthe October Business Bites at Boss Hoggs Restaurant on Tuesday, Oct. 20. The business luncheon is $12 and includes a choice of entree, beverage, tax, gratuity and some extra critical information. Reserve your spot at the luncheon by calling the Chamber at 264-2360.

Weekend activities

There are several dinners this weekend you may want to include on your schedule.

On Friday, there will be a benefit dinner for well-known resident Jackie McGuire. The dinner will be held from 5-8 p.m. and will include tasty and hearty spaghetti, salad, bread and dessert. You can enjoy the dinner at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall on Lewis Street. There will also be a silent auction with lots of great items. As many people know, Jackie is an avid fisherwoman, so those who like fishing can head over to the silent auction where there will be lots of items related to fishing available. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children 10 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the Chamber, Higher Grounds, Exit Realty and Wild Spirit Gallery. Unfortunately, a tragedy often pulls people together, but there will be lots of heartwarming activities at this event, all for a wonderful cause!

On Saturday, Oct. 10, the Archuleta Democrats will hold their third annual chili cookoff, chili supper and silent auction at the Ross Aragon Community Center. The festivities will begin at 5 p.m. with socializing and a silent auction. Dinner begins at 6. Tickets are $7.50 for adults and children under 12 are $3. You can purchase tickets at the door or visit the Web site, www.archuletadems.org.

Membership news

We welcome back the following renewals this week: Victoria’s Parlor; Happy Trails Ladies Boutique; Plaza Liquor; Growing Spaces; and Bonnie Masters and Pagosa Springs Real Estate Online.

With many businesses putting their budgets together for 2010, don’t forget to include marketing. Jennifer Green will host some marketing seminars to deal with how businesses and event organizations can co-op with the Town Tourism Committee. We’ll be talking about her plans in weeks to come.

Enjoy the fall weather, pick up your firewood permit at the Forest Service, and perform some housekeeping tasks, personal and professional.

When was the last time you checked your membership listing with the Chamber? It may be time for a refresher!