The Covid-19 Pandemic has had a major effect on small businesses this past year, and the is making sure people don’t forget to shop small.
“We looked this past year and we said, ‘How can we bring people into the community, go into these businesses and still keep them open and running?’,” said Lake City Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Michelle Reichert.
That’s when the Chamber of Commerce thought of “cash mobs”.
“Normally a cash mob is a group of people go in at once and they congregate and spend a bunch of money,” said Reichert. “With social distancing, obviously what we wanted to do is spread it out through their whole day.”
The goal is for 20 people to spend at least $20 at the designated business. 2 The Moon Bakery, Shoreline Cafe, and Arletta’s Flowers and Gifts have hosted a “cash mob” event in March.
“We had a lot of gift certificate sales that day,” said 2 The Moon Bakery Co-Owner Nathanial Sigsbey. “I think a lot of people were getting something and then tacking on a gift card to kind of get them over that $20.”
Arletta’s Flowers owner Erine Wescoat also saw an influx of business.
“The cash mob gave people the opportunity that maybe even hadn’t had a chance to stop in and see the new products and stuff that we’re carrying,” she said.
Wescoat was surprised with the amount of new customers that came to her shop.
“Based on the 30 or 40 people that’d been in through the store that day, about 18% had never been in the store before,” she said. “Honestly, it was a great transaction number to find out.”
The cash mob gives customers and business owners the opportunity to connect and support one another.
“They’re getting a chance to talk to these owners and talk to the employees and see what they have,” said Reichert. “It’s a win-win.”
The Lake City Area Chamber of Commerce plans to continue these cash mob events through the rest of the year. The next three events will be held in May.
Saturday May 1—Eising’s Sassafrass Garden & Gifts
Tuesday May 11—Tasty Treat
Tuesday May 18—Whipple & Co