New Cash Mob Craze Giving Small Businesses Much-Needed Boost

NEW YORK (TRP) – It’s a Saturday afternoon in the Carroll Gardens section of Brooklyn and a mob has gathered, and it’s growing by the minute.

Unlike your run-of-the-mill flash mob, this group is a cash mob and has no plans to break out in song or dance. Rather, it will converge on By Brooklyn, a small boutique on Smith Street that specializes in fine goods from across the borough.

What started out as a slow Saturday for shop owner Gaia DiLoreto, has now become one of her top-grossing days.

“I believe we did double what we would’ve done on a typical Saturday which is amazing. Its like Christmas in the middle of April,” DiLoretto excitingly said.

By Brooklyn is just one of many shops across the country being cash mobbed, a phenomenon that connects with residents of a community on Twitter and Facebook and then arranges a time and day to boost sales at a struggling local business.

Dozens of shoppers mobbed the 'By Brooklyn' boutique in Carroll Gardens Saturday as part of an ongoing 'cash mob' movement that aims to support small local businesses.

“I think its very important to support local businesses,” New York Cash Mob organizer Amy Cortese, said.  “I do have a feel for the hard times they’re going through. We’re starting to recover but we’re not there yet. Businesses like this need our support.”

Cortese is the author of Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit from It, a book that puts a spotlight on local investing.

Cortese pushes the idea that, by investing in local businesses, rather than faceless conglomerates, investors can earn profits while building healthy, self-reliant communities — one of the main principles behind the cash mob movement.

Jay Lee, another New York-area cash mob organizer and founder of Smallknot, a company that specializes in helping local businesses, says participants all share a common goal of wanting to support the communities they love.

“I think people are just really engaged and very exited,” he said.  “It’s just a large group of people that are energized – just trying to build the communities theywant to support and the businesses that they love”

While giving local merchants a shot in the financial arm, cash mobs are also giving members of the community an opportunity to learn more about their neighborhood and residents, with a social gathering at a nearby bar after the mob concludes.

“We try to have fun,” Cortese said. “I don’t know half of the people here, but I’m looking forward to meeting them and hearing why they came and who they are.”

Meanwhile, back at By Brooklyn, DiLoreto is still flying high in the afterglow of Saturday’s mob.

“I’m very strongly committed to supporting my community in any way I can possibly can, and to have that given back to me in an event like today is priceless,” she said. “I am so honored.”

Despite being just a few months old, the cash mob has already made a lasting impression – on not only small business – but it’s bringing a sense of community back into community, preserving a custom that sometimes is taken for granted.

To find a cash mob near you, visit the Official Cash Mob website.

For more information on Smallknot, visit their website.

For more information on By Brooklyn, visit their website.

To buy Amy Cortese’s book, Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit from It

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Categories: Ridiculously Awesome

Author:Andrew Ramos

I'm a reporter in New York. I talk to people. We have a blast.


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