Written by local Mom Carla B.During the past 5 months I have participated in 3 mob hits. All at local businesses in Tampa. And they’ve been very successful. We’re currently planning our next monthly hit. And the business will never know what hit them.
Relax. I’m not talking about the Mafia. I’m actually a member of the Secret Tampa Cash Mob whose sole purpose is to help support local small businesses in the area. Anyone can become a member, the rules are really quite simple. Mobsters (as we like to call ourselves) nominate and then vote on a locally owned small business with a Tampa address. Each mobster agrees to spend at least $10 at that business on the date set for the “hit.”
Our “mob boss”, Kim Kenney, founded the Facebook group approximately 6 months ago after seeing something similar in another state. The group started with just 3 members, herself included, and has grown to over 1500 members, or “mobsters.”The businesses hit by the mob so far include Tate and Tilly’s in Carrollwood, Bayshore Market, Napa Flair Winery, Housewife Bakeshop, Holy Hog BBQ and most recently Book Swap of Carrollwood. The nominated businesses cannot be part of the mob, because the “hit” must remain a secret!! For the small businesses that we hit, it means more exposure, new customers, and higher profits. Our mob boss Kim Kenney speaks to the business owners after the hit and invites them into the mob to help other business. She also asks what kind of a difference we made on our hit. The owners have reported that their average sales for that day increased anywhere from 100 to 300%!!!
Hits normally take place on Saturdays, and mobsters can visit the business anytime during that day, but I personally LOVE being there right when the business opens. Kim arrives with her large Secret Tampa Cash Mob sign, goes into the store (usually accompanied by several mobsters like myself) and informs the worker that they have been nominated and voted on to be our “hit” of the month. She tells them to expect at least 150 extra customers that day, and explains what the Mob is all about. I absolutely LOVE seeing the faces of the speechless worker/owner, part amazed delight and part stunned disbelief. They are usually on the phone within 5 minutes to call for reinforcements.
My husband is also a member, so we usually go on these “hits” together and take our 8 year old son Kevin. He LOVES it, and he is learning about the value of money and the importance of supporting local businesses. His favorite hit was the Book Swap of Carrollwood, where he and a friend got some great new books.
Recently Kim had mobster t-shirts designed and made up and secured two local corporate sponsors, Catania & Catania and PP+K. All proceeds are being donated to 2 local charities, High Hopes in High Heels and Art for Autism.
It’s sad to see when local stores have to go out of business. It is so important to help support our growing local economy. This is why I love being part of the Secret Tampa Cash Mob! It’s amazing to me how when people come together, just $10 a month can go so far!!
Interested in joining the mob? We are always recruiting new members!!! Just logon to your Facebook account, visit the Secret Tampa Cash Mob public page, and ask for an invite. Being a mobster is such a rewarding experience for me. I feel good knowing that I am helping in my own small way, and I love finding out about these great businesses here in my own town that I otherwise never would have known about. I wish I could tell you all about our next planned hit, but it’s a secret, so you will just have to join us to find out!!