Published: August 30, 2014 at 5:30 a.m. Last Modified: August 28, 2014 at 5:52 p.m.
Flagler County Chamber of Commerce President Rebecca DeLorenzo is first in line at the Sew & Quilt Shop for the first cash mob event in Flagler County.
It may not have been the largest crowd taking part in the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural Cash Mob event, but it was an enthusiastic one.
A cash mob is the small-business version of a flash mob, where people come together at a specific location at a set time and instead of performing a choreographed dance or some other activity, participants spend $10 or $20 at the selected business.
“The concept of a ‘cash mob’ is simple,” said Gretchen Smith, the Chamber’s government affairs director. “It is a grass-roots, community-led movement to support local businesses. With $10 in hand, chamber members will come together to shop in a locally-owned small business, at a set time, on a specific day. It’s a win-win all around: cash mobbers have fun, businesses make money and our local economy gets a boost.”
First on the Chamber’s cash mob list was the Sew & Quilt Shop in the Marvin’s Garden complex on State Road 100 in Bunnell.
Owner Kathy Boos said she was thrilled to be the first small business to host a cash mob event.
“We’re excited about it,” she said. “It’s fun and it’s new and different.”
Boos said the attitude at the shop is to be flexible for patrons and the idea of having a large group of shoppers descend on the store all at once was a challenge.
“We work best under pressure,” she said. “We kind of go with the flow.”
Boos said her expectations for the event were positive, regardless of the turnout.
“Even if only one person comes in, it’s about the next person they are going to tell about us,” she said. “It’s all about doing something different.”
For the Chamber, the cash mob idea fits with the group’s efforts to boost the local business community in general and assist its members.
“It’s our mission to support local businesses, and believe the new cash mob program will help incentivize residents to keep their dollars in Flagler County, while introducing them to businesses they may not already know,” said Chamber president and CEO Rebecca DeLorenzo. “The bigger the crowd, the greater the impact we’ll have on that business and our economy.”
DeLorenzo said the Sew & Quilt Shop was selected for the inaugural cash mob event because Chamber officials wanted to highlight businesses in Bunnell.
She said there are plans to hold one cash mob event every month, at least initially.
“We’re starting small, but maybe we’ll get to two a month,” she said.
Carol Fisher, who owns the BeachHouse Beanery in Flagler Beach with her husband, Jeff, stopped in to the Sew & Quilt Shop to check out the cash mob concept.
“I thought it was a neat idea,” Fisher said. “I want to support the idea and I want people to know it’s a good idea.”
Fisher said as a small-business owner herself, she knows that getting new customers in the door is important to build a following.
“Word-of-mouth is a great form of advertising,” she said. “I think it gives a safe opportunity for people to come in to a business.”
Clues for future cash mob events will appear in various Chamber publications and on the organization’s Facebook page.
For more information about chamber cash mob events, call 386-437-0106.