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August 16, 2011 - 12:18pm

'Cash Mob' idea comes to Genesee County

posted by Howard B. Owens in business.

An idea born in Buffalo to promote locally owned businesses has spread to Genesee County.

It's called "Cash Mob."

The idea is to use social networking sites to organize local residents around one day of supporting a specific local business.

People nominate locally owned businesses using Facebook, Twitter or on a form on the WNYMedia.Net site. On Wednesdays, the business with the most votes is announced and a day is announced for supporters of the "Cash Mob" descend on the business and spend from $10 to $20.

The first time it was tried in Buffalo two weeks ago, a local win shop had 40 extra customers and more than $2,000 in revenue.

"It’s about generating excitement to shop locally," said Chris Chravella, who organized the Genesee Cash Mob. "We want people to have a fun reason to spend money in the community instead of (going to another local to spend money)."

People who want to vote can do so through on Twitter (send message to @GeneseeCashMob), Facebook or this WNYMedia.Net post.

Only businesses with local or regional owners will be considered. National chains and franchises are out.

Charvella said he hopes the "Cash Mob" idea (the brainchild of Chris Smith, from Buffalo) will help raise awareness of local businesses and help people maybe discover the benefits of a particular shop that they never visited before.

"Any time you can keep dollars in the community, it's a good thing," Charvella said. "Any time you can boost the local economy, it's a good thing. You cannot go wrong spending money at the place down the street."

Howard Owens
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You cannot go wrong unless it's $50 cheaper online with free shipping. This will work for some businesses, but not others. The premiums that people pay to support local shops are often much greater than idealists lead you to think.

Nonetheless, it sounds like a fun idea.

Bea McManis
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I can't wait to see which business will be the first to get mobbed. It should be a fun event.

Chris Charvella
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Thanks for posting this Howard. We've had a great response so far.

Pat McGinnis
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Chris,

I think this is a great idea count me in

Chris Charvella
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Winner for the first week will be announced in the morning. Bring your wallet Pat, you're gonna need a few items from this place, I think.

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