I attended my first Cash Mob in 2012 while I was working downtown. Several of us from the shop walked over to Harmar Village one summer afternoon to meet the group on the corner of Maple and Gilman, not sure what to expect but excited all the same. Mallory, the former director of ReStore Marietta, gathered people around her as she held up a giant handmade sign that read “CA$H MOB!” The event was pretty simple – meet at a designated location, guess which store was going to be mobbed, and commit to spending a minimum of $10 at the chosen shop. That evening, the chosen location ended up being Whipple’s Whimsical Toys; thirty or more of us packed into that train, delighted to be spending $10 on nostalgic toys and candies. After we finished our shopping, an “after-mob” was held at Spagna’s where participants could vote for the next location and enjoy a mob-themed drink special. Cash Mob made one Monday a month that much better.

Although Cash Mob Mondays were a staple that summer, they have since fallen off Marietta Main Street’s schedule – until now. Charlie Clay of Dad’s Primitive Workbench took it upon himself to resurrect cash mob, remembering how much the event had helped out his shop, and many others. Last night was the first mob of the new season and 28 of us met on the corner of Front and Butler eager to know where we were headed. Charlie read off several clues before someone excitedly guessed, “Brick Street Cottage!” As the sunset reflected from windows above, we made our way down Front Street to Lisa’s cozy shop. First time and long time shoppers alike enjoyed finding something to take home with them, many of us getting a head start on our Christmas shopping. Warmth from the shop seeped out into the streets, and it was clear that this was the place to be last night. Lisa had even set out cookies and drinks to welcome the mobbers to her shop, happy to have a full house.

“My heart is overflowing with happiness from your support. Without all of you, our small town would not be the very special and unique place than it is,” Lisa exclaimed after the event.

Although ten dollars doesn’t sound like much, it can mean a great deal to a local small business. That ten dollars goes a lot farther, too, in the hands of a local business owner than it would in the pocket of a franchise CEO. Our local business owners are more likely to put that money right back into our community, whether it’s donated to a service project, invested in our banks, or given to another merchant. For every ten dollars spent, seven dollars stay right here, making a real difference in boosting our city’s economy.

Cash aside, the mobs are a great way to explore a new shop or business that you are unfamiliar with, expanding your knowledge of what is available right here in our own little town. Before cash mob, I had never been in Whipple’s Whimsical Toys – I wasn’t even aware that the shop had existed. Afterwards, I became a seasonal shopper, stopping by to pick out unique gifts for holidays and special occasions. My patronage went far beyond that initial $10 purchase.

I encourage you to join in the cash mob fun – make sure you mark the future dates in your calendar! It’s sure to make your Mondays not only bearable, but something to look forward to. And if your community doesn’t have a cash mob, why not start your own? Gather a few friends and make an evening of it once a month, frequenting a new shop and each committing to make a small investment in your local small businesses. You’ll be doing yourself a favor, trust me.