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CASH MOB: How Punta Gorda's Chamber of Commerce drives up off-season business

Cash Mobs look to bring in as many customers to a chosen local business.
Posted at 8:13 PM, Jun 13, 2024

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — On Thursday, the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce hosted a ‘Cash Mob’ event to help bring customers to HipNotique in downtown.

Every month the chamber chooses a new locally owned business to bring a Cash Mob to. The chamber rally’s in customers and uses a ‘cash cannon’ to give those customers some cash to spend in the store.

“The goal of the Cash Mob is to drive as much business as we can for the day there,” said Val Edmunds, interim executive director of the chamber.

Cash Cannon
Val Edmunds uses a cash cannon to give cash to customers during a Cash Mob at HipNotique.

Edmunds told Fox 4’s Charlotte County Community Correspondent Alex Orenczuk that events like the cash mob are important, as they help support small businesses, especially during the off season.

“The local support is so important because when you’re purchasing online you’re not getting that money traveling through your local circle,” said Edmunds. “To keep our local community engine going per say, it's important that people stop in and support our local business here in the Punta Gorda area and the surrounding community."

Alina Cosman has owned HipNotique, located at 111 W Marion Ave. in Punta Gorda for two years.

Shirts on display at HipNotique.

“We do mostly women's clothing and accessories and we have a little token men's section that we like to laugh about,” said Cosman.

Like other small businesses, Cosman said she has seen a drop in customers during the summer off season. She said events like the cash mob and other independently organized events like ‘boutique crawls’ help drive in traffic during the slower times.

“Obviously there's less sales, less traffic and that's why these lovely events bring out the locals,” said Cosman. “It's time for the locals to come out and do some shopping and come visit us. They kind of like that better anyway because it's not so busy.”

Cosman noted that supporting local small businesses has more impact on the community than buying online or from big box stores.

“We really appreciate the support, we're also the ones who donate to all the local events so when you support us you’re supporting the community,” said Cosman.

alina cosman.jpg
Alina Cosman, owner of HipNotique speaks with Fox 4's Charlotte County Community Correspondent Alex Orenczuk.

The next Chamber of Commerce event is a Poker Walk on June 20, and a collection of Punta Gorda’s boutiques are hosting an 80’s themed boutique crawl August 2.