Cash Mob Mondays return in Evart

CashMob: Cash Mob Mondays volunteers (from left) Antonio Militello, AJ Weinberg and Chris Moore help draw people into Northon's Shire Bookshop with music during last year's event in Evart. This year, Cash Mob Mondays will begin on June 3 at B.C. Pizza.
CashMob: Cash Mob Mondays volunteers (from left) Antonio Militello, AJ Weinberg and Chris Moore help draw people into Northon’s Shire Bookshop with music during last year’s event in Evart. This year, Cash Mob Mondays will begin on June 3 at B.C. Pizza.

EVART — Community members and business owners can chase away the Monday blues and support the local economy at the same time this summer as Cash Mob Mondays begins its second year.

The weekly event is designed to enhance and showcase a different Evart business all while bringing awareness to what it offers customers.

“It’s a flash mob with a ‘shop local’ twist,” said Evart Downtown Development Director Al Weinberg.

Cash Mob Mondays will begin June 3 at B.C. Pizza and take place at a new local business every Monday from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Area mascots will help draw in passersby.

As a reward, each attendee who spends at least $5 during the mob will receive an Evart Buck toward the purchase of a meal or item and a punch card to fill during the summer. Once the punch card is full, it can be redeemed for two Evart Bucks which can be used toward a purchase during the mob.

“If everybody spent five bucks, that would be a huge boost for that business,” Weinberg added.

Last year, Weinberg said Cash Mob Mondays attracted between 300 and 400 people throughout the summer, which can mean a healthy increase for the businesses involved at that time and for the future.

One of the businesses featured again this year is Northon’s Shire Bookshop, and owner BJ Northon said he is looking forward to the event and hopes it will be as good during the second time involved.

“It was a real nice experience. It was really positive,” said Northon.

He said the Cash Mob Monday helped him bring a month’s worth of business in two and a half hours.

“I think it certainly boosts the local economy and brings new people in,” he added.

The event attracts attendees, helps bring awareness to the business and gives fellow business owners a chance to network and support each other, Northon said.

Weinberg said by attending each Monday, residents may learn what more Evart has to offer and be saved from the drive to Big Rapids, Grand Rapids or Cadillac.

“I would encourage people to go places they’ve never been to before. It’s amazing what some of these businesses have inside that you’ve never known about before,” Weinberg said.

B.C. Pizza owner Samantha Fenton said has high hopes for the event this year.

“I’d like to be more busy. Anything can always help and I welcome more business,” said Fenton.

Supporting local stores and restaurants continues to be important every day, and are what make small cities and towns special, he added.

“When you walk into a store in a small town, you kind of feel like Norm from ‘Cheers.’ You matter,” Weinberg said.

In addition, he said Cash Mob Mondays are one of many summer events which are part of a new contest. Attendees with smart phones can access Facebook and use the “check in” option during either a Cash Mob Monday or Musicale event. Once the summer ends, a randomly selected winner will receive $100. The more times someone “checks in” the better chance that person has to win, Weinberg said.