Consignment shop owner leads drive to keep sales at home

Mandy Barnes, owner of the Encore Shoppe & Gallery shows clothing in her store.

Mandy Barnes, owner of The Encore Shoppe & Gallery, 2493 U.S. Highway 6&50, wants Grand Valley residents to shop locally, and she is giving them an incentive to do it.

She has joined the 3/50 Project, a nationwide grass-roots project aimed at “saving the brick and mortars our nation is built on.” Participants in the project are encouraged to spend $50 a month at locally owned businesses.

The group cites statistics such as for every $100 spent at locally owned businesses, $63 are returned to the local economy through taxes, payroll and other expenditures, compared with $43 when spent at a national chain.

The 3/50 Project is focused on awareness, but Barnes has taken the project and given it her own spin. Customers who show her three or more receipts dated in the past 30 days from local businesses, totaling $50 or more, will get 10 percent off their purchase at her shop.

It’s not only Barnes giving the discount. Tropical Island Tanning & Spa, 350 North Ave., is on board as well.

“Ultimately, I would like a very large group of owners to come together and offer this incentive,” Barnes said.

She has been putting packets together to use as recruitment tools for other shops.

“We just need one person to start this, and it’s going to be me,” Barnes said.

That’s how Reba Summers, owner of Tropical Island Tanning & Spa, found out about the 3/50 project.

“I think we need to keep our money in Grand Junction,” she said. “So much money is taken away from us from bigger companies.”

Barnes and Summers understand that it would be difficult to shop strictly at locally-owned business, but they encourage the practice as much as possible.

“I think every business is important here. I just think if you decided to shop one or two times out of four at locally owned businesses, that can be a big help,” Barnes said.

The 3/50 Project is drawing interest throughout the Western Slope. In Cedaredge, Joy Beeson started passing out the 3/50 Project flyers last week with her hand-delivered orders.

Beeson owns Green Valley Herbal, 1943 Green Valley Road. She is a small manufacturer of bath products such as lotions, oils, salts, body wash and sugar polish. She estimates she has passed out 30 flyers in the past week at a health fair and to her clients.

“It seems like a simple plan that people could see the results of,” Beeson said.


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