I’m a big fan of shopping local whenever possible. This morning, my kids and I drove past a plethora of chain restaurants to a great little restaurant by the name of Joe’s Farm Grill to have a nice spring break breakfast. While my experience was slow-paced and relaxed, there is a new, go-local trend that is much more fast-paced and exciting: cash mobs.


If you’re thinking of flash mobs then you’re close; it’s a similar concept but without all the singing and dancing. Instead, cash mob participants are making their dollars dance in a quick economic pick-me-up at designated local businesses. Cash mobs have been gaining steam in the past year and an article on USAToday.com examines exactly how much of an impact this little shopping spree can have on a small business.


On Wednesday, a cash mob descended on John Reburn’s Appalachia Press store in Roanoke, Va. Within an hour, Reburn had made 54 sales, which is “the equivalent of a Christmas shopping day in 45 minutes.” Source: USAToday.com


Okay, this sounds like a win-win-win situation. It is fun for the participants, who only spend about $10 to $20 each. It is a morale booster for small businesses in the economic uncertainty of today. Finally, the biggest win, in my opinion, is that many of these cash mob participants can turn into regular customers.


Evidently the flash mob trend is spreading into other parts of the business world as well. Check out these stories about a crop mob in North Carolina and the Carrotmob movement.


Have you ever participated in a cash mob?


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