It is no surprise that I am a huge advocate for the small businesses in the local area. With so many unique finds as well as having a neighborly atmosphere, you can’t help but show them support. These folks work hard, and they don’t get a guaranteed check like most working americans do every week. Many towns here in the Litchfield Hills have a great amount of these “mom and pops” and in some towns across the county like Kent, that is all that they really have to offer. A short drive from the likes of the Torrington area and you won’t find too many big box locations, if any at all. It’s what makes small town life so great.
As an advocate for these small businesses, I am also a huge supporter of the 3/50 Project, which entails people to choose three locally owned and operated stores and spend a combined fifty dollars. The philosophy of 3/50 is this: for every one hundred dollars spent, sixty-eight dollars returns through the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. Spending that same one hundred dollars at a national chain would only bring the community forty-three dollars. Even more alarming is if you spent that same one hundred dollars online, nothing would come back to the community. Numbers like this are hard to handle, especially here in Torrington as we work hard to revitalize our downtown and bring Main Street back to life.
One thing that surprises me, however, is that most people have a hard time trying to understand the concept. Some even think they have to ditch the “big boxes” completely in order to win back a community. This, however is false as the 3/50 project only calls for spending fifty- dollars combined between three locations. Big boxes are still in the picture, but in order to bring back places like Main Street in Torrington, we have to show support to our neighbors who work hard not only for themselves, but for the community as well. Many places, such as Tummy2Teenz Consignment shop in Torrington, also give back to the community, which you could read about here in one of my previous articles about their one year anniversary here in Torrington.
JoAnn Ryan, President of Northwestern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, recently did a wonderful write-up in the Sunday September 26th article of The Register Citizen. She went into detail about what spending money can do for the local economy, and I applaud her for bringing this to everyone’s attention. Today, now more than ever before, it is extremely important to support our neighbors. As we move forward with progress here in Torrington, we look forward to having these businesses ride the waves of change with us, and they look forward to serving you for many years to come.
Mike Valletta can be reached for comment at: NorthwestCTMike@aol.com