A few years ago I spoke to the Mobile Electronic Dealers Association. While I was at their meeting I sat in on another seminar that asked the question, “What if you increased the price of every item in your store by one penny?”

How much of a difference would that make to your bottom-line?

Some stores had hundreds of products and accessories so depending on the number of sales it could be substantial at years end.

Could This Work In Bozeman?

The Bozeman economy is currently pretty good. Our unemployment is the lowest in the 25 plus years I’ve lived here.

But it might not be so great for everyone. The City Commission keeps saying that affordable housing is missing for the citizens of Bozeman.

What if every merchant in Bozeman reduced the price of every item in their businesses sold or provided to the public by a penny?

Imagine every item in your grocery cart costing you one cent less. Or gas one cent less per gallon.

How Much Would That Be?

I have no idea how many transactions are done in Bozeman every day. But I see people on the downtown sidewalks and in the parking lots all over town.

I’m guessing that some of them are buying things.

For easy math what if there were 100,000 transactions per day. Walmart probably does that in a couple of hours so I think my example is very modest.

Gas stations, restaurants, retail stores, all join the penny per product movement.

That would keep $1,000 a day in the pockets of Bozeman residents or $365,000 a year in additional purchasing power spread across our community.

What if we did ten million transactions per year in the valley? Would that be enough to stimulate our economy and make housing more affordable for some of our residents? I have no idea.

But it’s fun to think about what the snowball effect might be. What if it was two cents, or a nickel? Would a nickel per transaction be that hard on merchants? For some it might be — but I think most could handle it.

Some Final Thoughts

Don’t we get a raise in pay every time the price of gas goes down a penny? Aren’t we more likely to buy something when it’s on sale?

We like keeping money in our pockets if possible. So is this a movement you could get behind.

We just need a catchy name like, “A penny for Bozeman.” What do you think? Are you ready to save a penny per product?

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