Friday, April 03, 2009

My Economic Stimulus Package

I've been thinking about the economy for quite a while. We, the people, seem to be waiting for a handout, watching to see what everyone else is doing, going about our lives, scrimping and grumbling, and just hoping it will all "get better".

High gas prices last year hiked everything up *a lot*, and prices didn't come back down with the gas prices. Prices at the grocery store are insane, power and gas went up and aren't coming down. People, including us, have cut way back in spending on non-necessities and on luxury items. This is hurting small businesses, many of whom are really struggling or have even gone out of business.

This is not news.

The gut reaction is to raise your own prices and cut spending wherever possible. However, one of the few things I remember from my economics class in college - ages ago - was that in a healthy economy, every dollar spent, is respent, respent again, and respent some more. One dollar put into the system can end up making 6 to 8 times that in a chain of sales.

So, to counter my tendency to stop all unnecessary spending and reduce that dollar in the economy to only a dollar in sales, and instead of waiting for someone else to do "something", I'm going to do my little piece.

Our farm sells a few things - sheep, wool, roving, chickens, pigs, Chaffhaye, some services. For the rest of 2009, I'm going to CUT my prices by 10%, PLUS take 10% to spend in the local economy on items that I've cut out.

Hopefully, this will do a little bit to put more money in the economy. My customers save 10%, 10% of our sales will go back into our local economy, and I get a little luxury. Sounds like a Win-Win-Win to me!

I challenge you all to do the same or something similar. If you buy something from us, please spend the 10% you save on another local, small business. Think about challenging your suppliers, customers, friends and relatives to do the same. My 10% will make a very small difference. Many 10%'s will make more difference. Let's make a difference together.

- Franna

7 comments:

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Interesting!

Franna said...

Michelle,
Thanks for commenting!

I'm surprised at the lack of comments. I think you folks are reading the blog - right?

I thought this was a seriously good idea, and am committed to see it through. We sold 2 turkeys, a ewe, and some fleeces in March and April. Our 10% will go toward eating at a local cafe. There have been several restaurants at this location and they all struggle. It's newly reopening with a new chef/owner, and we'll give it a go. I'm going to tell them why we're there. :-)

Smaller amounts may go to our favorite independent latte stand. The one we haven't been going to because we're pinching pennies. They'll get the story, too. ...or maybe the local raw dairy. It's hard for me to spend $5 per gallon when I can get it at the supermarket for $2 - even though I know it's better for us.

Maybe I'll print up some cards with the idea. It's a little like a "pay it forward" deal, or both "pay it forward" and "pay it backward".

- Franna

inSheepsClothing said...

It is hard to want to let go of that 10%, but I think that you're right about having to keep the $$ moving.
And I like the idea of encouraging people to be more conscious of their spending, and what businesses they are supporting.

Dave said...

If everyone keeps hanging on to that 10%, it is going to take even longer to get things running again.

Terri D. said...

I love your idea. It makes sense and keeps the hope flowing in these times. I have been working on buying more locally also. I like the idea of designating an amount. It also allows one to get to know the "locals."

Mim said...

We've been doing something like this in our neighborhood. There is an electrtion a plummer landscaper etc and we work for each other at a discount or trade. Win,win! Keep it close to home!

Juliann said...

Hi Franna,

I'm just catching up now with your blog. I know times are difficult and scary for a lot of people, but I do think it's a good idea to live as normally as possible, if you can.
While it is wise to live frugally, we are continuing to live as we have. I always was more supportive of small local business, and would rather pay a little more for something American made, than in a third world country.
I also really don't trust the media. They will upplay or downplay the economy to support party bias and to instill fear into people so they'll keep watching the news. The media outlets are running a business, too.