Imagine going about your business on a Saturday afternoon; talking to customers, restocking merchandise, cooking lunch or brewing coffee, when all of a sudden, as many as 40 people dressed in red rush into your store with cash in hand. It may sound like a bunch of last-minute Christmas shoppers, but actually, it's a Cash Mob.
The group has hosted three Cash Mobs in St. Petersburg this year and this Saturday will be the fourth event.
"It's a movement and it started in New York back in November. . . they're all over the country," Ester Venouziou with LocalShops1.com said.
She says it's an expression of pride in our communities.
“I’m loving it, it really is about the community. Focusing on bringing together the shoppers and the businesses is really my ultimate goal,” she said.
Venouziou adds that studies show that of every dollar spent at a local business, about 70 cents stays local. That's compared to less than 40 cents put back into the community by a national corporation.
She says about 40 people came out to their last Cash Mob at ARTpool Gallery in St. Petersburg. She's hoping for a similar crowd in Gulfport.
“It’s a lot of fun, the youngest shopper is a 9-year-old girl," she said.
Want to take part?
Ester Venouziou says "mobsters" are meeting on the corner of 28th Ave S. and Beach Blvd. at 1:45 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. Organizers ask that people wear red shirts and spend at least $10 at the business.
For more information about Cash Mobs and to nominate a business for a future Mob, go to LocalShops1.com.
Venouziou says the business owner will give 10% of the proceeds to Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay.