Historically, the decision to purchase local was an easy one. You would never have to make a point to do so, and in fact would have to deliberately seek out an alternative. Unfortunately, in current market conditions it is often cheaper to buy goods produced afar despite the added cost of packaging, transportation, etc.. Despite this, support for locally owned businesses is growing as
more and more people are discovering the intrinsic value in spending their money somewhere besides the major chains.
When talking about the environment, it’s easy to get caught up on green initiatives. While these are certainly important, now more than ever, we wanted to focus on the urban environment, the city we live in, and ways in which we can develop and improve it.
Locally owned businesses are the lifeblood of a vibrant community.
These businesses provide the character to a neighborhood and to the city that set it apart from the rest. They are often the first to give back to the community as well: offering time, money and know-how when called on.
Cash Mobbing is simple – it’s a movement of people motivated to respond to their community’s businesses and economic state.
People spend money, they vote with their dollars, we choose what we want to see with the ‘paper’ we exchange.
It’s our goal to help ‘shape’ our communities into strong, stable and rewarding places to be by reminding people of the influence they have on the local economic scene.
Cash Mob Edmonton is the effort in which this ‘shaping’ becomes a reality, and a group reality at that. It all started about a month ago, when an article was brought to our attention of a different way to approach shopping local – making it a concentrated group effort. It didn’t take long, an hour, to get the ball rolling, and soon thereafter we began working, along with our friend Cassandra Harper.
We then took in nominations via Facebook from friends who liked the initiative. We got the nominations; had the businesses and watering hole chosen; and three weeks later, 30 people showed up to Carbon Environmental Boutique, Dauphine’s Bakery and Lit Wine Bar. Success. Over $1,000 spent in under an hour, and extensive free marketing for these businesses as media and social networking sites went abuzz.
Now we look ahead.
Our next event is on April 25th,
and already we have swelling numbers of interested people. We want to grow, simply and succinctly, into a group that reminds people of the ‘good’ in this city. Being in Edmonton presents many opportunities for growth, wealth, development and play . We have the opportunity to start a movement that actually encourages more people to become involved with local businesses, and perhaps become entrepreneurs themselves – if the demand exists, then make it.
Monika was born and raised in Edmonton, she works as a RMT and is a member of Rotaract Club of Edmonton Centre. Throughout the year she produces several local live-entertainment and charitable events, while volunteering for local, regional and international initiatives. Being familiar with running a local business, Monika advocates shopping local to influence the communities we wish to surround ourselves with – she looks forward to what the future holds and encourages people to look to themselves for the change they seek.
Tommy has been a proud Edmontonian his entire life and currently works as a banker helping families with financial planning and real estate lending. As a director with Rotaract Club of Edmonton Centre, he helps organize local, regional and international initiatives including after school programs for inner-city children and a leadership conference for local high schools. He is excited for the future of Edmonton and looks forward to helping any way he can.
NextGen Speaks Out, our guest blogging series, is envisioned as a hub for information and discussion. NextGen is a non-political, non-denominational organization focused on giving all nextgeners a voice. NextGen does not represent the opinions expressed by the individual columnists.