Please accept this invitation from one small business owner to all others in Rio Blanco County to join me Tuesday, June 7, at 6 p.m., to listen to motivational speaker Cinda Baxter.The Meeker Chamber of Commerce is proud to present Ms. Baxter, founder of The 3/50 Project and a motivational expert on what makes local economies succeed, to all small businesses in the county, free of charge.After reading in last week’s Herald Times about sales tax receipts being down in the county and in Meeker (down 30 percent for the first quarter of 2011 compared to 2010) we have to be willing to ask for help and willing to try new things to survive. Welcome, Cinda Baxter!According to her website, Baxter role is to “…hand Superman capes to all small business owners, then teach them to fly.”“I’m a retail consultant and professional speaker whose mission is to strengthen independent brick and mortar businesses. Having spent 14 years as a successful retail store owner, I ‘get it’ from the inside out and feel an obligation to pay forward the hard earned knowledge and expertise that brought me to where I am today, which is juggling my new 80-hour-per-week job as president of The 3/50 Project, the best volunteer gig on earth.”The 3/50 Project, which sprang from a simple blog post in March 2009, relies on the simple premise: “Pick 3, spend 50 and save your local economy.”Hopefully many of you have already seen the flyer distributed by the Meeker Chamber describing The 3/50 Project encouraging us to think of three independently owned businesses in our communities, decide which one we would miss most if it was gone, then stop in and say hello, pick up a little something to make someone smile. It’s your contribution that keeps those businesses around.The flyer tells the numbers: If just half the employed U.S. population spent $50 each month in independently owned businesses, their purchases would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue. For every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. Spend the same money in a national chain and $43 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.The 3/50 Project has exploded onto the national stage as a way to help local brick and mortar businesses reclaim consumer dollars and has been featured by Consumer Reports as “Buzz of the Week.” The project has also received positive coverage by national media including The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Fox Business News and Entrepreneur.My high school wrestling coach used to invite former Meeker wrestlers, coaches or wrestlers with college experience into our wrestling room to share their experience with us. I remember my coach introducing the guests to our team, then sharing a little background about each guest before the guest demonstrated some wrestling moves for us.Coach always said, “Pay attention, try what you are being shown and use it if it works for you, if not you are no worse off for seeing it and you might even learn something through osmosis.”Please join me next Tuesday, June 7. A social mixer with Ms. Baxter and business owners will start at 5 p.m. Her presentation starts at 6 p.m. and takes about an hour, which will be followed by a question and answer session.Let’s get motivated and ready for summer!
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