Monday, December 22, 2014

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‘Cash mob’ set to hit local St. Stephen business Friday - Jul. 07, 2014


Kathy Bockus
St. Stephen
A cash mob will focus this Friday on a St. Stephen-area business that was hard hit last weekend by post-tropical storm Arthur.
The cash mob concept, where residents are encouraged to shop at one particular business on a specific day, is one Trish Hopkins and other members of the Rural Redefined initiative hope catches on and grows.
The idea of the cash mob was borrowed from other communities and tailored to fit the St. Stephen community, said Hopkins, who noted Rural Redefined members are a close-knit group who stay in regular contact.
“The day we got the news about Sobeys closing, we said ‘we don’t want this happening to others. What can we do?’ ”
She explained a cash mob usually hits a business around 2 p.m., but in the Charlotte County region, where people work in industry or in fisheries or even out of the area, it was decided to choose a specific day instead of a particular time. “People can go and spend as little or as much as they want.”
Hopkins said the group received a list of businesses which belong to the St. Stephen Area Chamber of Commerce and compiled its own list of those which meet the cash mob criteria.
The business has to be locally owned and operated. A franchise must be independent from a head office and able to make its own business and advertising decisions. The business must offer goods and services for males and females, and has to offer something for less than $20 in price.
“We’re not here to support the big corporations.”
Hopkins said the cash mobs will not be limited to just Chamber members, but noted if the business is not a member of the Chamber the group may not know about it.
Suggestions for future businesses to “cash mob” can be messaged to the St. Stephen Community Spirit Facebook site, operated by Development St. Stephen.
It is on this site Friday morning that the first cash mob target will be announced.
Hopkins didn’t release any details about the business except to state “it was one heavily impacted by this weekend’s storm and had a lot of losses.”
“We want to support them by getting them back on their feet.”
Those who go to shop at the cash mob store are asked to tell the business “we’re here to cash mob you.”
“Let them know you are participating and here to help.”
Hopkins said she expects a sign with the cash mob logo will be placed outside the target business each day the cash mob is activated.

kathy@stcroixcourier.ca