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NEW NETWORK OF 'MOM AND POP' RETAILERS IS LAUNCHED TO CREATE JOBS FOR SMALL U.S. MANUFACTURING FIRMS

 WHITE SPRINGS, Fla., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumer advocate Chuck Harder announced today the startup of a country-wide network of "mom and pop" retail outlets to sell American-made consumer products.
 The effort, dubbed Project USA, is being undertaken by Peoples Network, Inc., which sponsors Harder's daily "For the People" call-in radio program aired over 200 U.S. stations and world-wide shortwave.
 "The whole idea is to create jobs for Americans -- both at the retail and manufacturing level," Harder said.
 Project USA has two main components, said the radio talk show host.
 First, it will create a network of hundreds of mom and pop retail outlets across the country ranging from small stores to local catalog sales operations. Almost a thousand retailers have already been recruited for the network via Harder's talk show.
 Second, it will provide these retailers with access to American-made products through a bi-weekly listing of consumer goods made by small and medium size companies that participate in the program. That listing will appear in For The People's tabloid newspaper, The News Reporter.
 Manufacturers will be given a free listing for their products, said Harder, if the company agrees to sell in small quantities and if it guarantees to repair, replace or give a full refund on its products. By selling factory-direct to the retailers, final cost to the consumers remains competitive.
 "In other words, we are creating a system to put retailers in direct touch with manufacturers and vice versa so they can do some business," said Harder.
 He emphasized that PNI's role is strictly as a catalyst to bring the two parties together. PNI, a non-profit organization, will get no commissions. There is a $5 annual membership fee for retailers to join the Project USA network. For that they get a startup kit and periodic "how-to" mailings.
 "Small retailers and small manufacturers are in a catch-22 situation in today's marketing world," Harder said.
 "The big retailers such as Wal-Mart like to buy in million dollar lots. But small manufacturers can't produce or finance in these quantities so their products are kept off the big chain shelves."
 "Project USA overcomes this by thinking small. Our program lets individual retailers buy in small lots as little as a standard carton or two, directly from the manufacturer at low prices."
 "This enables our mom and pop retailers to compete with big chains and provides a new market for small manufacturing firms."
 "We know this idea can work," said Harder, "because we've proved it on a pilot project basis."
 He noted that last year PNI helped a shut-down electronics plant in Pittsburgh reopen as a manufacturer of high-quality short wave radios. They did it by finding a market for these American-made radios. Sales reached $50,000 a day during the peak period of promotion over the "For The People" radio show.
 "We invite interested retailers to join, and manufacturers to write us at: Project USA, 3 River St., White Springs, FL, 32096. NOTE: People's Network, Inc. is totally independent and not affiliated with any other organization.
 -0- 10/18/93 R
 /CONTACT: Kent Phillips of People's Network, Inc., 904-397-2000/


CO: Florida's Radio Network, People's Network, Inc. ST: Florida IN: SU:

JV-RK -- FL002X -- 4536 10/20/93 11:42 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 20, 1993
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