'Cash Mob' descends on Cleveland Hts. business

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio - Cleveland Heights has seen a flash mob before. But on Thursday, one store in the city had its first 'cash mob' and the owner couldn't be any happier.

"This is the shot in the arm that all of us need," Steve Presser, owner of Big Fun, said. "It's exciting."

Cash mobs are groups of people who descend on a store at the same time to spend money and help boost the business.

The general goal of cash mobs is to help revive local shopping by making it fun.

At a cash mob, all you have to do is:

  1. Spend $20
  2. Meet three people you didn't know before
  3. Have fun

Organizers said they chose a Coventry business because the area was hit hard last year by destructive flash mobs.

The cash mob concept was thought up by Cleveland attorney Andrew Samtoy as a positive reinvention of the negative connotation attached to some flash mobs. Since the first event in Cleveland, impromptu cash mobs have popped up everywhere from Chagrin Falls to Long Island to Albuquerque and San Diego. All of them have a common goal of helping boost local economies.

Samtoy said the idea is even catching on in other countries like England, France and the Netherlands.

"It's what people in Cleveland do," he said. "We start things. Sometimes things stick and sometimes they don't and this one just happened to stick."

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