Painting contractors and suppliers nationwide are staking their own money on the growing grassroots “People’s Stimulus” movement to put money back into the economy $2 at a time.
Industry businesses from Alaska to Washington are following the lead of Alabama pharmacist Danny Cottrell, who handed out $16,000 in $2 bills to his employees to spend in the community,
Dave Theobald, President and CEO of Turman Commercial Painters (www.turmaninc.com) in Northern California, is among those who have acted.
Theobald carried out his own “stimulus package” by giving $30,000 to his 200 employees in California, Oregon and Washington. He has also launched a website (www.PeoplesStimulus.org) to motivate others.
“I want to change the discussion about the economy to one of hope and action,” says Theobald.
Like other business owners who are taking part, Theobald gave each of his employees the money in $2 bills, with only the condition that they spend it locally. A note attached to each $2.00 bill invites other local business owners to do the same.
Theobald is one of 46 business owners in the last two months who have been moved to take part. “I liked the fact that with a People’s Stimulus Package you go to the bank, get the $2 bills, and the money can be circulating in the economy tomorrow. The employees love that they are helping the community, and it is a kick to see the reactions as business people take the $2 bills.”
Theobald created www.PeoplesStimulus.org to encourage others to take part and track the results of the initiative. So far, he says, about 10 new companies a week have joined the effort, giving their employees a total of $116,559.
The participants include Tim Doolittle, regional manager of Miller Paint Company. “We thought it was a great idea,” said Doolittle. “We have been giving back to the community in the Northwest since 1890, so this was right up our alley.”
His company recently sent a letter home to each of its 265 employees with packets of $2. Included was a letter from company CEO Steve Dearborn that said, in part, “O.K., so it is not $787 billion, but we are trying to do our part as a small business to stimulate the economy.” The letter encouraged the employees to spend the money locally and “spread the word.”
Tom Skinner, a sales rep for The Sherwin-Williams Company, gave $100 of his own money to do his part. “I liked that this is one of those things that is attainable for ‘everyman,’” says Skinner. “The news about the economy has just been so negative. You start thinking, “what can I do?’ This empowers you, because anyone can do it – it’s really simple and nice to be a part of something special.”
Says Theobald: “The appealing thing about the People’s Stimulus is that it is individual business owners, committing what they can in their communities to help stimulate the economy. What we have in common is a belief that each of us doing our part can make a difference, and that helping others will ultimately be good for us all.”
For more information see: http://www.PeoplesStimulus.org