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Roanoke Cash Mob Featured in USA Today

from usatoday.com

It's a mob scene at some mom-and-pop retailers across the country.

Organized groups of do-gooders — "cash mobs," modeled after public-spectacle "flash mobs" — are descending upon small businesses, snapping up merchandise and rallying at pubs afterward to celebrate their pro-community mission.Photo credit to Roanoke Times.  Shoppers at the Appalachia Press in downtown Roanoke Virginia.
 
....The altruistic acts provide much-welcomed economic and emotional support for small-business owners, says entrepreneur John Reburn, who was hit by a cash mob of more than 100 Wednesday evening.
 
His firm — Appalachia Press, a letterpress and silk-screening shop in Roanoke, Va. — rang up 54 sales in less than an hour as customers picked up stationery, books and prints.
 
"We did the equivalent of a Christmas shopping day in 45 minutes," he says.
 
The cash mob craze began to get social media pickup last year, and as word spread, so has the benevolence. Community activists, non-profit employees and regular people have led similar charges for their towns.
 
John Park, a Roanoke resident who organized the Appalachia Press raid, first heard about cash mobs in late February when friends e-mailed him about the phenomenon. Park, a financial planner, thought it would be a fun way to support local business.
 
He and friend Sam Rasoul created a small committee that considered different retailers and chose Appalachia Press.
 
For help planning the mission, Park turned to a blog, cashmobs.wordpress.com. It offered guidelines such as "the business must have products for both men and women" and "be within one block of a locally owned watering hole."
 
The Roanoke mob hit a barbecue joint for drinks after their shopping excursion....
 
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