On Nov. 21, 2011, a friend from college left a simple post on Facebook: “I love this!” was all it said. I clicked on the link she posted and went to a page for the Norman Cash Mob . It was the first time I’d ever heard of cash mobs, but the idea was simple, clear and compelling. According to the Urban Dictionary, a cash mob is “a gathering similar to a flash mob organized primarily through social media, where a group meets near a small business and spends about $20 each. The location is kept a secret until the last minute, although clues are given out in advance and the business is usually surprised. The atmosphere is usually silly and fun.”
The Norman Cash Mob was happy to share—their model, guidance, sources, support…everything (Shout out, Okie Bowl…you’re the best!). It turns out they cribbed the idea too—from a Cleveland group they heard about on NPR. A good friend and Newburgh neighbor saw the same potential I did and promptly embraced the project as her own by helping me lay the groundwork for what will, on February 11, 2012, become the very first Newburgh Cash Mob.
On the 11th, next Saturday, the Newburgh Cash Mob (aka you, me & anyone else who thinks supporting small, local businesses is a smart/fun/cool idea) will meet at 2 p.m. sharp somewhere in the City of Newburgh to mob our own local, small business. All you have to bring is a $20 bill (or at least a plan to spend a small-ish something) and your sense of adventure. On Friday the 10th we will announce the Mob’s meeting location, but the identity of the business won’t be revealed until we actually convene (though you can keep an eye out for clues throughout the week, and if you see or hear of any, please feel free to post them). After the mob, we’ll plan to “mob” a second, nearby business to have a quick round of drinks and celebrate our success!