Cash mob organizers hope to stimulate Main Street |

Cash mob organizers hope to stimulate Main Street

Staff Reports

Shannon Litz/R-C file photoYvonne Cinciala of Minden talks with Jody Branson, owner of Fresh Ideas, in the Gardnerville store during the 2008 holiday shopping season.

Main Street Gardnerville has launched a so-called cash mob campaign as a consumer-driven economic stimulus program of sorts.

According to Main Street Program Manager Paula Lochridge, cash mobs are part of a new movement aimed at supporting local businesses and rebuilding communities.

“It’s comparable to a flash mob, but instead of singing and dancing, cash mobbers join together and commit to spending $10-20 at a predetermined local business,” she said in a press release. “Cash mobbing is an increasingly popular way to enable community members to make a difference for locally owned businesses. These cash mobs have proven to be quite popular not only nationwide, but also in the Reno-Sparks area. Main Street Gardnerville would like to now bring it to the Main Street District.”

Lochridge said locals will be asked to join the Facebook group, “Main Street Gardnerville Cash Mob,” then invite their friends to do the same.

“A cash mob business is selected via random drawing of Main Street Gardnerville business members,” she said.

The first cash mob will take place on Oct. 6 at Fresh Ideas, 1455 Highway 395, Gardnerville. Show up anytime during their regular business hours, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., on that day and commit to investing $10-20 back into the local economy.

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Besides economic stimulus, cash mobs also highlight individual businesses.

“Fresh Ideas has resided in Gardnerville for 17 years now, in the same little white home on Main Street,” said Lochridge. “It’s best described as neo-classic, mixing the old with the new.”

According to the American independent Business Alliance, Lochridge said, when a consumer spends $100 in a locally owned business, $45 of it stays in the community. When that same $100 is spent in a national chain store, only $13 stays local.

“A cash mob is just one way that a shopper can have a huge impact on our local economy,” she said.

For more information, contact 782-8027 or

Main Street Gardnerville, a community-based revitalization program, once again has low-interest loans available for qualified business owners.

While seed money for the MSG revolving loan fund initially came from USDA Rural Development, payments into the account from previous successful applicants have replenished the fund, and monies are now available for redistribution at attractive rates.

The loans are designed for qualified business owners who would like to renovate their facilities, expand their operations, or do something else that improves their business and the downtown atmosphere.-

Businesses must be a member of Main Street Gardnerville and located within the Main Street District.

All loan applications are kept confidential and subject to approval by a loan committee comprised of local financial professionals who handle similar and confidential documents daily. No Main Street Gardnerville board or staff member will be privy to any personal information.–

Loans vary from $1,500 to $10,000 but may go higher under certain conditions. Repayment is 5-10 years at a 2 percent interest rate. There is no pre-payment penalty.

Eligible uses include signs and awnings, remodeling interior or exterior of a building, purchasing additional equipment or inventory, working capital, expansions, and leveraging grants for measures such as energy conservation.

The Main Street Gardnerville program is part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

For more information, visit or call 782-8027.-

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