Oro Valley launches 'cash mob' campaign
Reporter: Justin Schecker
ORO VALLEY (KGUN9-TV) - You've probably heard of flash mobs -- large groups gathering suddenly to dance or perform in public places.
But what about cash mobs?
This concept of directing customers to support the local economy by shopping at a chosen business is coming to Oro Valley today.
Reza Shopuri has made a career in the food business and now he's the owner of Harvest Restaurant in Oro Valley.
"The entire menu is made from scratch in here," he said. "We don't buy anything frozen or any canned stuff."
Shopuri wanted to own a restaurant that buys local and is located in a town that encourages shoppers to do the same.
"Eighty-five to 95 percent of customers come from a three to five-mile radius, so to do a local promotion absolutely helps all the local businesses," Shopuri told 9 On Your Side.
Oro Valley Town Manager Greg Caton said organizing cash mobs is just one of many programs to promote shopping locally.
"Specifically, we don't have a property tax, so our bread and butter really comes from a thriving business community and we're doing all we can to support that," Caton told 9 On Your Side.
The town will pick the businesses at random, but you can cross out the big box stores, Caton said.
"People have to be able to go in and spend a smaller amount," Caton said. "so for example, around 15 dollars is the targeted amount."
Whether they spend $15 or more, Shopuri said it is an opportunity to attract new customers. And because people pack his restaurant on weekends, Shopuri said his staff is ready for a cash mob.
"We are packed a few times a week that we can operate," Shopuri said. "We have a system in place."
Town leaders will announce the first place where "mobbers" will flash open their wallets Thursday at 4 p.m in front of the Council Chambers.
Oro Valley plans to hold a cash mob on the third Thursday of every month.
To find out where they'll be, you can follow @OVCashMob on Twitter or check out facebook.com/orovalleyazgov.
You can also text follow "OV Cash Mob" to 40404.