Can you commit to spending $50 each month at locally owned businesses?

Here’s a New Year’s resolution for you: Spend $50 each month at local businesses as opposed to big-box chains. Can you do it? Neighborhood resident Brad Schweig of Sunnyland Furniture hopes so.

He recently launched, an effort to encourage shoppers to support small businesses in North Texas. To help promote it, some retailers are participating in “Third Thursdays,” offering special deals and savings on the third Thursday of each month. The event starts this week and continues throughout the year.

“Our main goal is to bring awareness of all of the great local stores in the area” Schweig said in a press release. “We are not asking people to stop going to the big-box stores or chain restaurants because they serve an important need in our community. We just ask that consumers spend $50 per month at their favorite local businesses.”

Schweig was inspired by the 3/50 Project, which promotes the idea that if just half of the U.S. employed population spent $50 per month at independently owned businesses, it would generate $42.6 billion in revenue. According to statistics gathered by the 3/50 Project, $68 of $100 stays local in the community. When spent at a chain, only $43 remains.

It’s an interesting notion, especially in Far North Dallas. Let’s face it – we have a lot of chains up here. But, as evidenced by our December 2011 holiday shopping cover story, we have a lot of great little mom-and-pops, too. You just have to know where to look. encompasses the entire region. You can find a full list of participating businesses on the Facebook news feed to keep in mind for when you venture out of North Dallas. But don’t forget to discover the ones right around the corner, too.

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