Big Fun is site of latest Cleveland Cash Mob event
Coventry Village’s Big Fun was the site of a cash mob on Feb. 9. In an e-mail to customers, Steve Presser, owner of Big Fun, described the joy he felt watching 65 like-minded individuals support the store. “What an incredible feeling it is to watch five dozen plus people rush in your front door with smiles on their faces and with one and only one idea: to support a local business. No discounts, no special deals—that’s not the mission here.” Presser joined the group afterwards for drinks at La Cave Du Vin
Samtoy staged the first cash mob in November 2011. He came up with the concept while going through the Cleveland Bridge Builders leadership program. The mob has three rules: spend $20, meet three people you didn’t know before, and have fun.
“What we’re doing tonight is supporting local stores. These are stores owned by people who live in our communities, who employ our neighbors and friends from our communities, which contribute to our communities and which, when the sun goes down and they go home at night, don’t take our money and send it to other cities, states or countries, but keep it right here in Cleveland, creating wealth here,” Samtoy wrote on his blog cashmobs.wordpress.com.
According to the blog, businesses must meet certain requirements in order for Cash Mob Cleveland to stage an event. It must be locally owned, have items that are available to men and women, and must sell wares that can be purchased for $20. That isn’t to say that people can’t spend more if they wish. The location must also be close to a “watering hole.” Perhaps most important is that the business gives back to the community in some way.
Big Fun met all of the criteria, and owner Steve Presser, who is also marketing directory of Coventry Village Special Improvement District (SID), is well known for his generosity and community spirit. “[The cash mob] has helped bring back the culturally important idea of supporting those who support you,” said Presser.
View video from WEWS, Channel 5’s coverage of the event at http://news.yahoo.com/video/clevelandwews-20910953/coventry-cash-mob-28250348.html
Chris Hanson is a senior in the Urban Studies program at Cleveland State University, a consultant at The Urban Cash Cow, and an intern at Future Heights.