They’re like flash mobs…only they buy things.
While the voices of groups like American Independent Business Alliance and the Institute for Local Living Economies have grown hoarse from trumpeting for the fortification of local economies, people are finally starting to get the message.
From Albuquerque to Sydney, handfuls of individuals have begun to take the message upon themselves in organized spending sprees that they call “cash mobs”. Using social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, groups of strangers organize and meet to visit independent retailers like bookstores, bakeries, wine shops, and anything else that screams “ma and pa”, where they then proceed to buy things.
Lead by a head organizer who often dons a goofy hat, groups head to shops with the goal to spend at least $20 each. The reason for this is that putting money into local, independent stores instead of franchises, helps to keep those dollars in the community.
Over 140 of these cash mobs have already struck. Organizers have no plans of slowing, especially after early February success at Big Fun Toy Store in Cleveland, where a group of 65 spent just under $1,500.Clevelandcash mob organizer, Andrew Samtoy, declared March 24 as “National Cash Mob Day.”
Cash mobs aren’t like groupon businesses, and the organizers don’t get a cut of sales. They’re made of everyday citizens who want to help their local community and strengthen their economy. And while these cash mobs certainly aren’t the answer to struggling businesses, they are a catalyst and a sign to the rest of their communities on how to quit feeding the “fat cats” and focus on themselves.
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