First came Flash Mobs, spontaneous, happening-style events like the public pillow fight shown here. Now there’s a great spin on the concept, the relatively new Cash Mob, which encourages folks to shop locally — all at the same time and place.
The basic idea is simple. A message goes out, typically via Twitter, announcing that a Cash Mob will take place at a designated time and location (generally, a store). Organizers are strongly encouraged to let the business in on the event well ahead of time. In addition to encouraging lots of sales at the chosen business, Cash Mobs have a few other clear benefits:
1. Dollars spent at locally owned businesses tend to circulate many times within the community thanks to the “local multiplier effect.” (See “Locavores are making a difference,” Nov. 14, 2011 Fresh blog post).
2. Anything that gets people thinking about the power of buying local can do more than add money to a store’s bottom line on a single day. Just possibly, it could change buying behavior on a large enough scale to really make a sustained difference.
3. They sound like a lot of fun, something many of us need in these trying times.
To learn more about Cash Mobs and the “rules” (just some good ideas) for organizing them, check out http://cashmobs.wordpress.com/rules-2/.
The spring seems like the perfect time to stage our own local Cash Mob. Anyone interested can contact Fresh with ideas…or watch for a follow up article around the time the first daffodils appear.