Local Business Groups Bring Cash Mob Concept to Anchorage (KTVA.com exclusive)
Event combines social activity and local economic stimulus
ANCHORAGE - In an effort to pump up local business, Anchorage economic leaders are turning towards an emerging trend: cash mobs.
Described as flash mobs with a twist, the event features a group of shoppers pledging to spend a set amount of money each at a designated local company. Nearly 200 such events took place nationwide last weekend as part of the first annual International Cash Mob Day.
The rules are simple: Spend $20, meet three new people, spread the word via social media and tell a friend about your experience.
Organized via Facebook, the Anchorage cash mob is part of a months-long promotional union between multiple local economic development groups, and Anchorage Downtown Partnership Executive Director Chris Schutte said it boiled down to basic math. If every family in Anchorage spent $20 per month at a locally owned business for three months, Schutte said it would equal roughly $10 million in economic impact.
“We don’t mean economic activity in the sense that we’ve sold $10 million worth of stuff,” Schutte said. “There’s a multiplier effect where every dollar that you spend locally will recycle through the economy seven or eight times.”
He said the money travels from consumer to business to suppliers, but the cash mob concept is just as community-minded as it is economic. By bringing together 20 to 30 Anchorage residents for targeted spending, Schutte said the cash mob concept gave a new appeal to economic development.
“We think it’s going to be a lot more fun,” he said. “It’s not just another gimmick, it’s a social activity.”
The Anchorage cash mob is scheduled to gather April 6 at 6 p.m. in Town Square Park.