One year later, a program designed to infuse cash into the Sherwood economy (and give a daylong boost to local businesses) proves a success

by: COURTESY OF AMBER GARDNER - MudPuddles Toys & Books was a recent recipient of Cash Mob Sherwood's economic infusion.Cash Mob Sherwood recently marked its first-year anniversary of spreading the wealth around the city, popping into MudPuddles Toys & Books for a celebration and to help out the popular local business.

Inspired by a nightly news segment on cash mobs she saw last year, Amber Gardner of Gardner Team Real Estate, decided she wanted to create more awareness around supporting local businesses and contacted a gentlemen in Cleveland, Ohio, who told her of the cash mob he help organize for that city.

“Sharing with him my interest in starting one here, I quickly devised a plan, organized a committee and Cash Mob Sherwood was launched with our first hit taking place at SweetStory Bakery in Old Town Sherwood on March 17, 2012,” said Gardner. “Armed with $5, $10 and $20 in hand, people came from all over, filling the bakery to capacity and there was even (a) line outside of folks there to support them.”

A year later, Michele Howard, the owner of SweetStory told Gardner she can still see the positive impact the cash mob is still having on her business, said Gardner.

Since its inception, it’s estimated that the each “mobbed” business receives about $1,000 in annual marketing support with $96,600 in returning value realized by the Sherwood community (based on a value metric that for every $1 spent in the community a return of seven times that amount comes back).

“Cash Mob Sherwood is one example of how consumer spending behavior, by shopping local, directly impacts the community as a whole,” said Nancy Bruton, executive director of the Sherwood Chamber of Commerce.

In its effort to support local businesses, “mobbers” are asked to spend approximately $20 per business but any amount is appreciated.

Gardner said hundreds are notified of the cash mobs invited to take part in the cash mobs via social media.

“We also find there’s a ripple effect that takes place, which is also hard to quantify,” said Gardner. “Typically, the rush hour that a cash mob brings at the time of an event can be anywhere from 50 to 200 people.”

Since last year, Gardner has heard from members of other chambers of commerce in Estacada and Tillamook, who have attended Sherwood’s monthly event.

In addition to SweetStory and MudPuddles, other businesses that have been cash mobbed include Sweet Story, It’s All Arranged, Cat Adoption Retail Store, Odgepodge Gift Shop, Sleighbells, Symposium Coffee House, Copper Creek Mercantile, Sharkies Coffee, Baskin Robbins, Natures Pet Market, Clancy’s and AJ’s Pub & Grub.

For Gardner, the most satisfying aspect of the cash mobs has been seeing first hand how people take pride in where they live.

This year, a proclamation was declared by Mayor Bill Middleton, proclaiming the 2nd Saturday of each month as “Cash Mob Day” in Sherwood to “urge our citizens to recognize and commend the efforts of our community in preserving the freedom, initiative and stability of our local economy.”

— Ray Pitz

Contract Publishing

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