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Productive use of the 99 percent movement – support local businesses

What is a cash mob?

The Occupy Wall Street Movement and 99 Percent Movement have spun off a productive movement called “Cash Mob” wherein organizers play on the flash mob concept of gathering groups of people through the web, but rather than hold up protest signs or dance, the mob pledges to spend at least $20 at a locally owned business that gives back to the community.

They’ve launched in L.A., San Diego, Milwaukee and even Vancouver so far, with more on the way. The Cash Mob website outlines how to set up a Cash Mob and what rules it entails.

Organizing a Cash Mob

How to organize according to the site:

  1. Get a Cash Mob twitter handle. We recommend something like “CM_____” where “_____” is the name of your city. This makes it easier for people to find you. For example, if they want to mob in, say, San Diego, they look for @cmsandiego.
  2. Figure out the business you want to mob according to these handy dandy rules.
  3. Talk to the business owner and set that mob up.
  4. Talk to a bar or restaurant owner nearby and get them to sign on for the aftermob.
  5. Set up a Facebook invitation. Trust us. Even if you hate Facebook, this is a great way to get information out to people.
  6. Contact the local media and tell them what you’re doing, then see if they’ll run a piece on your mob.

The rules for a Cash Mob:

  1. The mob date must be announced a week in advance via Twitter.
  2. The location at which to meet will be announced, but not the specific business to support.
  3. The amount to spend will not be above $20, although people can spend more if they wish.
  4. The business must have products for both men and women.
  5. The business must be locally owned.
  6. The business owner must give back to the community in some way.
  7. The business owner must approve the CashMob before the mob is announced.
  8. The business must be within one block of a watering hole.
  9. Cash Mobbers must join us for celebratory drinks after the successful mob.
  10. The cash mob will occur during the evening on a weekday or on a weekend.
  11. Pictures will be posted to the blog after the CashMob.
  12. Parking must be available.

The Cash Mob movement is a productive use of the energy behind the 99 percent movement and whether you support the parent movement or not, a Cash Mob would be a great event to be organized by a professional marketer, a local Realtor, an insurance agent, or a local non profit that has benefited from a specific local business. It’s a good way to give back, organize people around local business and raise awareness for local businesses.

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.


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