For the first time in Central New York, a group that promotes local businesses is taking a concept that has worked in other cities and bringing it to Syracuse.
SyracuseFirst is organizing a "cash mob" called "Cuse Mob" this Saturday afternoon, May 5. SyracuseFirst is a not-for-profit network of locally owned, independent businesses and organizations dedicated to building a sustainable community by encouraging citizens to "Think Local First."
Word about the event started spreading on Twitter, where SyracuseFirst is encouraging participants to follow along and look for clues about the business that will be chosen. It will be delivering hints via Twitter with the hashtag #CuseMob. On Saturday, the plan is to have as many people as possible descend on one specific business with ten dollars in cash to spend.
In this video, SyracuseFirst Executive Director Chris Fowler explains why he believes an event like this is so important. Fowler tells CNY Central, "You've heard of a flash mob. This is a cash mob, and it is a little more important."
A recent report by National Public Radio indicates there have been nearly 200 cash mobs in 35 states and a handful of countries, mostly through word of mouth online.
Andrew Samtoy runs the national Cash Mobs blog from Cleveland. He says the idea has spread so quickly because it's not just about helping small business.
"We're consciously using social media to get people to actually be social," Samtoy says.
Already, reaction to the Syracuse event is coming in on Twitter:
Margaret McCormick (@mmccormickcny): #CuseMob #Syracuse version of cash mob - is comin' to town! Love it.
Kim Brown (@kimincuse): How cool is this? @SyracuseFirst is planning the first-ever #CuseMob #KeepSyracuseSalty
Charley Hannagan (@charleypost): Syracuse First #cusemob. Spend locally! I love it. Count me in.
NYS Blues Fest (@NYSBluesFest): Love the CuseMob idea!
â?? Syracuse First (@SyracuseFirst) April 29, 2012
â?? Michael Benny (@MichaelBenny) April 30, 2012