Cash Mob Success in Van Wert

The Van Wert Cash Mob was an idea of their Main Street organization in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce. They shared the idea with an active local resident and his wife who were excited about the idea and felt they could lead it as coordinators. The community talked with several other Main Street communities across Ohio and learned how they were organizing monthly events, and pulled from their plans. Come April, they've hosted a full year of monthly events, with attendance ranging between 30 to 60 participants each month.

History of the Cash Mob          

As reported by Public Radio International, the idea of a cash mob was first started by Chris Smith, a blogger and engineer from Buffalo, New York, in August 2011 at a wine shop in Buffalo.  He organized more than 100 people to purchase items from City Wine Merchant of August 5.  Smith described the mobs as a "reverse Groupon" that are meant to make a "chance for business owners to begin building a longer-term relationship with customers".

A group of people living in Cleveland, led by attorney Andrew Samtoy, claim to be the originators of the term and event.  Their first cash mob event was started on November 16, where the gathered around 40 people to shop at a local bookstore.  After the event, the group started a blog to popularize the idea, leading to other cash mobs being started in other cities.  The group from Cleveland has stated that, after the idea of cash mobs began being picked up by Occupy Wall Street groups, cash mobs are not meant to be "a political or social organization...or meant to be answer to economic crisis."

After the concept was started in general, the popularity of cash mobs began spreading through sites like Facebook and Twitter, eventually leading to cash mobs being formed in more than 32 states and in Canada.  Local radio stations have also seen extensive use by cash mob organizers to inform others.

One of the earliest cash mobs blogs created a list of "Mob Rules" that advised how other cash mobs should be coordinated.  The rules included "choosing stores that are locally owned...getting approval from the store's owners and setting a $20 spending commitment for mobboers.  "Other rules include having the mob gathering near local bar or restaurant that the group can attend after the shopping event. 

Paulding County Cash Mob Registration Form

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Cash mobs have swept across the country over the last several years to breathe new life into struggling mom-and-pop businesses as they compete with big-box retailers.  Utilizing flash-mob mentality, a cash mob organizes in advance  however, instead of performing a group-style dance or something similar, a group of cash mobbers flock together to support local business. 

Through word of mouth, social media and press coverage, an organized cash mob cab have a tremendously positive effect on hometown businesses. In most areas, small, locally owned businesses are the lifeblood of the local economy, but rising costs of doing business often means that these small retailers cannot compete with the lower prices of retail giants.

Cash mobbers take a stand against the the corporatization of communities by planning an event to support local businesses.  To support those businesses that have served them and their families for decades in many cases.  Most cash mobs plan to meet on a particular day, with each participant agreeing to spend a specified amount. 

One successful mob after another, dedicated community members help the businesses they love and that add value to their community stay in business, attract new customers and thrive despite rising costs, a slow economy and big box competition.

"Every dollar spent locally has a 15 percent more positive impact on a local economy than the same amount spent in big-box retailers".


  • New customers found

  • Old customers reacquainted

  • New appreciation for local businesses

  • 15% more positive impact on local economy per every dollar spent.

  • Fun, Fun, Fun

  • Meet new people

  • Networking