Mar 20, 2013 10:08 AM by Samantha Ptashkin

Oro Valley cash mobs about to hit local businesses

ORO VALLEY, Ariz.- You have probably seen online videos of a "flash mob". It's a phenomenon where people randomly break into an elaborate dance routine in public.

Now something similar is on its way to Oro Valley, except instead of a "flash mob", it's called a "cash mob". "I think it's a great idea," says Jessica Burns, owner of "Fruit Shack Smoothies and Yogurt" located at 10785 N Oracle Rd.

Every month the town will randomly select a locally-owned business. Shoppers will meet at the business at a designated time and are encouraged to spend at least $15.

It's welcome news to Burns, who opened the Fruit Shack last November. She knows firsthand that running a small business isn't easy. "You don't have the corporations telling you every step of the way this is how we want things done and you're kind of on your own to figure things out," Burn says.

She says most of her customers are repeat customers, but now she hopes the "cash mob" will help attract some more business. "It's a good push to let people know we're not a franchise and we're just a family run business," Burns says.

"It's a way for businesses to become more familiar with the town they're in, it's a way for the town to support businesses and it's the businesses that end up supporting the town through sales taxes," says Oro Valley Vice Mayor Lou Waters.

In the 2012/2013 fiscal year Oro Valley collected about $11.5 million in sales tax. The money goes directly toward public safety, road construction and new parks. "It's important the money doesn't go to headquarters in another state, or even another country," Burns says.

The OV Cash Mob will be using Twitter (@OVCashMob), Facebook, email subscriptions and text messages to inform participants of meeting places and times.

If you would like to participate in this month's "cash mob", head to the Oro Valley Town Hall at 11000 N. La Canada Drive at 4pm on Thursday, March 21. That is when the first business will be selected.


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