Downtown Springfield Inc. and its Momentum on Main Street committee are launching a series of online shopping experiences, known as “cash mobs,” to encourage local shoppers to visit downtown retail shops and purchase featured items via Facebook Live. A “cash mob” is a group of people coordinated to meet and spend money at a local, independent business at a particular time. Due to COVID-19, DSI is moving this concept online to support downtown’s small businesses.
The Virtual Cash Mobs will take place on DSI’s Facebook page every Thursday at noon, hosted by DSI staff and Momentum volunteers. The first featured downtown business on Aug. 20 will be Reverie Apparel, located at 407 E. Adams St.
“Downtown shops have been hurt so much by our loss of tourists this summer, so it’s really up to us as local shoppers to prioritize some of our spending to help our local businesses make it through COVID,” said Ben Paoletti, DSI program coordinator. “The benefits for our entire community are great — independent retailers return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales to the local economy than chain competitors.”
“Plus, it’s just plain fun,” said Patrick Russell, owner of Reverie Apparel. “For me, it’s an opportunity to show off my store and my products to reach a wider audience, and we’ll try to make the experience as easy and entertaining as possible for anyone who is curious and wants to hop on, watch, ask questions and hopefully buy.”
Each Virtual Cash Mob will take place online where viewers can tune in from the comfort of their home or office to see selected merchandise from the featured downtown business and have the opportunity to make purchases.