There are three rules: Bring $20, meet three people you don't know and have fun, Eric Armour said.
Armour, along with five other Squamoleans, is behind one of the West Coast's first cash mobs. It's a simple idea, he said.
Originally started by a blogger in Buffalo, N.Y., a cash mob follows a similar theme to a flash mob — in which a group of people suddenly assemble in a public place to partake in an activity. The difference is a cash mob aims to bring social awareness to shopping at local independently owned stores.
“They have caught on like wildfire,” Armour said. “It is a little bit of a growing movement.”
The cash mob organizers have created a list of locally owned independently operated businesses. Each month they will draw two names from the list — one retail outlet and one food and beverage outlet. The businesses will then be announced as the cash mob location via social media. People will visit the retail store with their $20 in hand and continue the informal party at the food-and-beverage outlet.
“The concept being they have to be in walking distance of each other,” Armour said.
Squamish's first cash mob is set to take place today (June 28). Armour, who owns Trinity Romance downtown, said he wants people to have a great time, while also providing an economic boost to Squamish business owners.
“This not only creates an awareness about shopping locally, but shopping at independently owned stores,” he said.
The self-employed represent 12 per cent of Squamish's workforce, outpacing the provincial figure of 5.2 per cent, states the District of Squamish's economic development online resource, BusinessSquamish.com.
In 2011, the municipality interviewed 73 local business from 16 different industries for its economic development work plan. Study results noted that most local businesses expect to see five per cent growth this year.
For more information on Squamish cash mobs, visit Squamish CASH MOB on Facebook.