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Chilliwack business gets a boost with ‘cash mob’

First there were flash mobs.

Now there are cash mobs.

Cash Mob Chilliwack organizer Scott McVetty said the idea is to get a group of people to converge on a local business at the same time and spend $20 each.

The first “cash mob” is set for June 1 at 7 p.m., at a Chilliwack venture to be announced at the last minute.

“Cash Mobs are first and foremost about building community,” said McVetty, who is a local realtor in Chilliwack. “They bring people together, boost the local economy and introduce people to a fantastic local business, that perhaps they would not have even tried before.”

All the participants will be kept in the dark about what business has been chosen until the last possible moment. There will be an advance meeting place for cash-mobbers revealed at the end of this week, through the Cash Mob Chilliwack Facebook page. Once the group meets at 7 p.m., the business will finally be revealed.

“It will be a short walk, and we will proceed en masse to mob the business,” he said.

An after party will also be held at a nearby eatery, where everyone is encouraged to come for appies and maybe a celebratory beverage.

“This way, we can actually support two local businesses in one night,” said McVetty.

Beyond spending a little bit of their time and money, the cash-mobbers are encouraged to meet people and have fun. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are used to get the word out.

The phenomena of cash mobs seems to be fairly new, getting established in 2011 in parts of the U.S. They are a grassroots response from communities to economic hardships experienced by the local business sector.

“It seems to be growing exponentially in popularity, and we hope with more people viewing the Facebook page, this trend will continue,” he said.

He plans to see how long interest remains high. So there are 132 likes on the page, with a potential reach of more than 1,200 Facebook users.

“We each do a little, we all do a lot” is the motto McVetty adopted for the group, after researching other cash mobs.

“We understand we can’t save a failing business with a cash mob, but maybe we can encourage a few more people to shop locally.

“Hopefully we can have a little bit of fun and make a few friends at the same time.”

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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