ELYRIA — For the next two Saturdays, two Elyria groups will form a “cash mob” to generate an economic boom for two local businesses.
The idea behind it is simple: flood a business with customers and revenue in a one-day push. First, a business must be selected — in this case it will be Baskets of Blessings in Midway Mall on Saturday and New To You Resale Shop on March 31.
Then, people are told, generally through social media websites Facebook and Twitter, to show up at a designated time and spend a designated amount of money.
The results are two-fold. First-time shoppers hopefully become repeat customers, and struggling businesses receive an influx of revenue.
“We are doing this because New To You has been in business for 30 years. We are trying to support her and celebrate her 30 years in Elyria,” said Tamela Grubb, executive director of Main Street Elyria. “In addition, we are trying to push some business her way. Her business has been down 27 percent on average since the opening of the municipal court house.”
New to You owner Bobbie Breen said that even after 30 years in business, she still encounters customers who are new to her.
“Every day, people walk in and ask if we have just opened,” she said. “I would tell people who still haven’t visited the store to come on in. They will not be disappointed in the selection.”
The store sells gently used contemporary clothing for men and women as well as shoes, purses and small decorative items.
Parking in downtown Elyria always has been a premium, but since the opening of the nearby Elyria Municipal Court, businesses in that block have had to compete with courtgoers for parking. A special event on a Saturday when court is closed could be perfect to boost business, Grubb said, and that was the thinking behind choosing New To You.
“We are calling it the 30 for 30. We are asking people to commit to spending at least $15, but if they spend $30, they will be entered into a drawing for a $30 gift certificate to Moss’,” she said.
Brandon Rutherford, founder and lead organizer of Invest Elyria, a grassroots community group, said Baskets of Blessings is a great shop in Midway Mall that could use a little publicity. His group will descend on that store on Saturday.
Staging cash mobs, which the organization did with success for Elyria Hardware two months ago, is the perfect way to add some buzz to a place without much effort.
“We want people to support local businesses,” he said. “To a local business, cash mobs mean business they wouldn’t normally have.”
Rutherford said Elyria Hardware had close to 25 new customers enter the shopduring that cash mob two months ago.
Spending at local businesses affects the local economy. According to the Small Business Administration, more money stays in local coffers when spent through local small businesses than through national chains.
If you go
- Baskets of Blessings (inside Midway Mall) cash mob is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
- The New to You cash mob (625 Broad St.) is noon to 3 p.m. March 31.
Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.