NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Realtors Debbie Dawson and Valerie Wilson started the West Pasco Cash Mob almost six years ago.
They spread the word on Facebook and each month, dozens meet up at a locally owned shop to spend money and stimulate business..
Sometimes it’s a surprise. Others are warned so they have enough inventory to sell.
When the cash mob strikes, they can spend up to $2,000 in 30 minutes.
“For a small local business that’s huge,” said organizer Debbie Dawson.
“We’ve actually had business owners cry when we left because they were able to make their rent payment or their electric bill,” said Dawson.
The Cash Mob is seeing results.
The revitalization of downtown New Port Richey has brought several new businesses.
After a Cash Mob event, That Little Bakery Cafe expanded to a bigger space in the old Elfers school building.
“We’ve been supported magnificently by local people, who I think genuinely appreciate the backing of mom and pop operations because they don’t want to see them disappear,” said bakery owner Mike Worssell.
The Cash Mob has held 61 events and they figure they’ve spent about $200,000.
“We raise revenue and raise awareness,” said Wilson.
That awareness leads to repeat customers after the mob has gone away.
This Saturday, they are coming back for more goodies at That Little Bakery Cafe to welcome them to their new location.