The Meaning of "Pay Cash and Tip Big"

We've gotten a few questions about what it means to "Pay Cash and Tip Big," and whether using a card or check is included in #BetOnMainStreet.

In this post we're going to answer those questions, but in brief, remember this:

Do local business in any way that works!

Why we suggest cash

We chose to make our slogan "Pay Cash, Tip Big" because doing business locally also includes the financial side, whenever possible. When you purchase with a card, a percentage will go to the payment processing company. In exchange for convenience, a small number of very large banks get to scrape 2.5-4% off every transaction.

In addition, many online delivery services add fees of their own, sometimes over 30%, which means a substantial amount of your purchase is spirited away to some distant corporation.

We like to say that $3 per American is a billion dollars. It's a measure of how powerfully small amounts add up. With cash vs. card, and in-person vs. online, that principle runs the other way.

If you spend $100 per person in your family (easily done in a month, even a week!), the $3 scraped in transaction costs is part of a collective contribution of a billion to big banks!

Imagine what would happen instead if we could keep that extra cash local!

Local Relationships First

We are aware that not every situation lends itself to using cash. Not every store is taking cash, particularly during pandemic times, or you might not have it available. That's OK!

When you #BetOnMainStreet , the key term is "Main Street." If you take your money to locally owned and operated businesses first, and use that business to form a relationship with the people you do business with, that's the main goal.

When you are doing local business with a card, 96% or more of that money is still going local, which is a whole lot more than 0.

And beyond the money, the opportunity to get to know people offering local services, and understanding how you might fit into the local economy, is rewarding.


With this in mind, let's #BetOnMainStreet by Going to Local Businesses, paying cash and tipping big where we can, and start making new relationships in our community.