Pass the Two Bucks

Discussion
Mar 10, 2009

By George Anderson

Danny Cottrell is the owner and pharmacist
at the Medical Center Pharmacy in Brewton, Ala. He is also a special person.
The question is: How many after reading this story will be willing to emulate
him in some way, big or small?

According to an Associated Press report,
Mr. Cottrell was “intrigued” by the recently passed government
stimulus plan and wanted to launch one of his own. So, Mr. Cottrell took
$16,000 of his money and proceeded to hand out $700 to each of his full-time
employees. The workers received their stimulus in $2 bills. His only requirements
for how the stimulus was used was that 15 percent had to go to a charity
and the rest needed to be spent at local businesses.

Shortly after, Mr. Cottrell’s employees
began spreading the wealth with 65 businesses now reporting having received
$2 bills.

Sammy Weaver is one of the merchants who
has benefited from Mr. Cottrell’s stimulus plan. “The
$2 bills make it easy to see where it’s going, see how it turns over and
generates tax revenue that helps our town and schools,” Mr. Weaver
told the AP. “I plan to save up the bills that come in here
and pay Danny my bill with them.”

“It’s not a huge amount of money,” said
Mr. Cottrell. “It would have a more noticeable impact if someone with
more resources came up with a huge amount of money, but the times are tough.”

Discussion Questions: What do you think of
Danny Cottrell’s stimulus plan? If he can do it, isn’t there something
that other individuals in retailing and related industries can (should)
be doing to create stimulus plans of their own? Does it give you any
ideas of something you might want to do personally?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

Join the Discussion!

18 Comments on "Pass the Two Bucks"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Marge Laney
Guest
13 years 2 months ago

Funny, I’ll bet Danny doesn’t realize he’s making the point of the people who think business owners make too much money and that the “excess” would be better spent in the hands of those who need it! Many businesses do just what Danny has done except they call these funds “bonuses” which have been demonized lately as greed and excess. People with abundance do things every day that make lives better by risking their money in businesses that employ many of us. Rather than being demonized, they should be encouraged and heralded for their efforts. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve never been employed by a poor person.

Marc Gordon
Guest
Marc Gordon
13 years 2 months ago

Noble indeed. But what does this teach people? That handouts are something to be expected? The fact that many people feel the auto makers should not even be getting handouts, it can be tough to swallow watching employed people getting them.

The fact that these employees actually have jobs should be enough.

I wonder what Mr. Cottrell is doing for those without jobs beyond the 15% he’s asked his employees to give to charity. Is he going to reduce his dispensing fees for those low-income people who need meds? I’ll bet not.

Pradip V. Mehta, P.E.
Guest
Pradip V. Mehta, P.E.
13 years 2 months ago

As a saying goes “It’s the thought that counts.” Danny Cottrell’s plan demonstrates he cares about his employees.

Liz Crawford
Guest
13 years 2 months ago

Kind-hearted, but misguided.

I bet we’ll be seeing more maverick Robin Hoods emerge, who will have various plans both absurd and inspired.

David Dorf
Guest
13 years 2 months ago

I guess that’s one way to help, but on such a small scale, I’m not sure it had much impact. It might have been better to donate the money to a worthy cause, or perhaps make mortgage payments for someone about to lose their home.

G wagner
Guest
G wagner
13 years 2 months ago

Oh quit being such a bunch of corporate fuddy-duddies. Lighten up! Does everything have to be over-analyzed all the time? This act of passing out money made people feel good. Enough said.

I guess the bigger question is, what have each of US done today to help others? Have we said something nice to someone? Let someone into the merging lane? Smiled at the receptionist? Bought flowers for your admin’s desk? Asked a part-time worker about their family?

It doesn’t have to cost $16K or even $2 to show others you care.

Anne Bieler
Guest
Anne Bieler
13 years 2 months ago

Everyone is affected by this economy–and we have to remember we are part of our local community and economy. Many people are writing about the effect of attitude on the markets and companies trying to find solutions. As individuals, we can only change our own ideas and behaviors. How to spend $16,000 and have it make a difference? Try to to invest in your employees, spread it around the local economy, give people a reason to believe we will get through this together? Lead by example–a thoughtful lesson to consider.

David Livingston
Guest
13 years 2 months ago

This is simply a charitable act and not really much of a stimulus. I have one client who always keeps a stack of $5 bills in his pocket. When we go to a restaurant he puts three or four down on empty tables as extra tips. It makes him feel good and I’m sure the extra tips are appreciated. The man in the story obviously has the cash and it made him feel good to do it. How many people go to Las Vegas and give their money away to a casino just to feel good? He’s not saving anyone from starving but he is teaching a valuable lesson in being charitable.

Susan Rider
Guest
Susan Rider
13 years 2 months ago
Bravo for Danny! Instead of people like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly spouting off their mouths hoping for a failure, maybe they should look at this example. Or maybe we Americans should say, put up or shut up. If everyone with an abundance decided to do something like Danny, wouldn’t it be refreshing? After just returning from Guatemala it was obvious to see that these are trying times but we are still so blessed. I heard someone say in a crowd that “those poor people don’t have air conditioning, heat or running water.” Those people don’t believe they’re poor. There is opportunity in these times, it just takes a attitude adjustment, creativity and hard work. It is a time to circle the wagons, work together to rebound and prosper. We have become spoiled. There is no doubt that there is going to be a correction and what a wonderful time to restructure your business, processes and your life. Danny is an example of someone that wanted to share his abundance. By doing so, he will… Read more »
Bernice Hurst
Guest
13 years 2 months ago

It seems to me this is about far more than charity. The stimulus part of what each employee was given is SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-related. Everyone involved knows where the money came from (think about it – where did Danny get it originally if not from local people shopping in his stores?) and where it’s going. It is literally making the local economy go around, giving back and STIMULATING. I think it’s great and hope it leads to other people having their imaginations inspired – and stimulated. (I think Gene has already been stimulated – wouldn’t it be great to track all the people who have touched, and been touched by, each $2 bill?)

Gene Hoffman
Guest
Gene Hoffman
13 years 2 months ago

If Danny Cottrell’s plan were to precipitate a landslide of similar programs throughout the country, then it would be a stimulus plan. Otherwise, it is a kindly, charitable act.

Li McClelland
Guest
Li McClelland
13 years 2 months ago

I love it! Not only is he getting some positive publicity for his business, he is also building good will in his community, which will likely last well beyond the recession. He is encouraging people to spend trackable money immediately and locally which also increases tax revenues and protects local jobs. This IS a teachable moment. Rather than a “handout,” I see his lesson to his employees and his town that perhaps individuals, more-so than the government, know best how to take care of each other in a crisis.

Gene Detroyer
Guest
13 years 2 months ago

I am intrigued and I think this is a wonderful idea. What is particularly unique is the use of the $2 bills. I would love to see how many times those $2 bills are turned over, how many hands they go through. If people start to see it, maybe we will understand just how a stimulus works.

To bad there wasn’t a way for each person who received and used a $2 bill to sign on to a website. How long would that list be?

BRAVO!

Doug Pruden
Guest
Doug Pruden
13 years 2 months ago

The current economic crisis is a downward spiral. People have lost their jobs, seen the value of their homes tumble, and watched their investment be cut in half (or worse). As those people stop spending, demand is lessened, and more jobs are lost. The greater the lack of confidence and buying, the further we fall. And with the growing fear even those with jobs and money stop spending.

I fear that the Federal stimulus package money directed to individuals will be tucked away or used to pay off debt (not terrible, but not really stimulating anything). I like the $2 bills. They are more likely to be spent, and as atypical currency in a local market they are very visible. People will see the impact.

Mark Burr
Guest
13 years 2 months ago
I’m not quite sure how Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly fit into this discussion. Did they have a part in what Mr. Cottrell did or didn’t do? Were they even mentioned as part of the story? Or, did the did the White House Press Secretary single out Mr. Cottrell along them as a private citizen worth targeting? Should they be used as an example? If so, then they should be used correctly. No one is hoping for failure–no one. They may in fact wish for certain policies to be failures, but not for failure itself. It’s a difference in opinion that success can be achieved in many ways other than what has been proposed–or not proposed to solve our economic ills. Mr. Cottrell saw an opportunity of his own. It was to use his own money they way he saw fit. It is in fact his money–not mine–not yours. For certain, it’s a different approach than the current trend of thinking. That is, that Mr. Cottrell knew best what to do with his money. It’s… Read more »
George Anderson
Guest
George Anderson
13 years 2 months ago

I wonder what would happen if everyone with $16,000 to spare just on this site went out and did something similar? Danny has set an example worth following.

Brian Anderson
Guest
13 years 2 months ago

What a refreshing discussion. Danny Cottrell is an inspiration and I am challenged to how I can contribute in my community. I see two great points:

He displayed Servant Leadership; hopefully that modeled to this team members what they can do.

He displayed a Give not Get mentality.

Sid Raisch
Guest
Sid Raisch
13 years 2 months ago

Too many people who should care about the community they live in really don’t. They take home the corporate paycheck, and walk past all the local businesses and spend their money with other big corporations.

At least the guy did something. It was significant. If he’d analyzed the ins and outs of the whole thing to try to satisfy all the pundits and armchair analysts above, he may never have done it. At least it serves as a positive example and news. He shouldn’t be beat up over it. Take it for what it is and improve on the idea.

What if $100 of each earned paycheck was paid in $2 bills again so the impact of spending local was more obvious? The $2 bill would serve as a reminder to the employee that their local economy benefits from their local spending, and it would also help the merchants appreciate the local spending for what it is–a decision to invest in where we live.

wpDiscuz

Take Our Instant Poll

How effective, albeit in a small way, would you say Danny Cottrell’s stimulus plan was in his local community?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...