19 May 2015

Local Businesses Mobbed


PRINCE RUPERT – In 2014 several local retailers were targeted by Cash Mobs. Fortunately, this is not a crime wave but a campaign featuring local businesses organized by RupertReigns.com, the Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce and Community Futures Pacific Northwest.

Cash Mobs are a kissing cousin to the more familiar Flash Mob. In this case the Cash Mobsters are not told what business will be targeted until they reach the location and are asked to spend at least $20 on products or services.  This gives the participants an exciting opportunity to discover local businesses that they haven’t had a chance to explore yet or support a local business that they frequent often.

“We were successfully able to bring numerous shoppers out to local businesses they may have not yet visited, both new and well established members of the retail community while supporting those retailers and helping them gain new customers.” explains Simone Clark, Communications Manager for the Chamber of Commerce, “As a bonus we also select a nearby eatery for the mob to have lunch afterwards, it’s really mobbing two local businesses at once.”

With the successes in 2014 the organizers have launched another series of Cash Mobs in 2015. The first begins Saturday, May 30 at 11AM, with the gathering location to be announced on RupertReigns.com May 28th. Nominations are open now. The businesses that were targeted in 2014 include The Argosy, Ice House Gallery and Eddie’s News while the dining options that benefitted were the Ocean View Restaurant, Dolly’s Fish Market and Herby’s Family Restaurant.

Business owners that have been on the incoming end of a past cash mob e excited about the results of the event. Frances Riley, owner of The Argosy noted her store not only saw 22 individual transactions in just one hour, but additional in-store traffic generated by the event from curious passersby wanting to know what was going on. Moyna MacIlory of the Ice House Gallery said of Cash Mobs, “It was a huge success and brought a number of customers and sales to the Ice House Gallery last year. This also helped those that did not realize who or what we are to attend the gallery and see what an operating artists’ cooperative looks like.”

How does the next target for Cash Mob get chosen? Anyone can put forward a business for future mobbing by nominating them on the RupertReigns Facebook page or Twitter using the hashtag #Spend20. All the qualifying nominations are then put into a random draw to be the next target. This time there are also two prizes for individuals getting involved of a free month of residential cable, internet and home phone service from CityWest. One winner will be drawn from all those who put forward a nomination and one from everyone who shows up on May 30. Sales and Marketing Manager of CityWest, Donovan Dias says “CityWest strongly supports the small business community because they are an essential part of maintaining a healthy local economy. Small business owners put in a tremendous number of hours and face a number of challenges in an effort to provide a great product or service for all of us to enjoy. Without them, our little island may seem even more remote and isolated to all of us. I hope a large number of folks come out and show their support to these phenomenal local entrepreneurs!”

For John Farrell, General Manager of Community Futures Pacific Northwest and past Mobster, getting involved is win-win, “For Mobsters it’s a chance to experience shopping in a different way and for retailers it’s a chance to earn $1000 in 45 minutes. Who wouldn’t love that?”