Chances are that by now you have heard of a "flash mob" and understand the concept behind the craze. If not, “flash mobs” feature a very large group of performers appearing unannounced at large public venues, usually a shopping mall, and entertaining surrounding crowds with performances in song or dance.  

The Laramie Area Chamber of Commerce announced last week that they will be launching a variation of the phenomena called the "Cowboy Cash Mob." The new program is a promotion to benefit small retail goods and services businesses in Laramie. Gordon Crow, president of the Chamber of Commerce, said:

The chamber is excited to launch Cowboy Cash Mob because above all, it will benefit small retail businesses in Laramie.

The objective of the "Cowboy Cash Mob" is to organize dozens of customers to patronize a single store at the same hour of a selected day with the intention of steering hundreds of dollars in sales to the chosen merchant. Alexandria Newman, project coordinator, explained that:

At each monthly board of directors meeting of the Chamber of Commerce, the name of a business will be drawn, and a Cowboy Cash Mob will be planned for a date and time during the following few weeks. From there, all board members will be asked to email 10 to 20 of their coworkers, or friends and acquaintances to join them for the Cowboy Cash Mob at the appointed time and day.

Newman said that the hope of the chamber is that the emailed invitations will be passed forward, resulting in an escalating number of shoppers or diners. She also mentioned that:

For some small businesses, such as restaurants, we will give them a heads-up so they can schedule enough staff and purchase extra food products for what we hope will be huge crowds of customers, compared to what is normal for the business.

No minimum purchase amount will be recommended by the chamber. People who agree to “mob” a selected business will be encouraged to spend between $10 and $20, depending on the type of business. The chamber believes that Cowboy Cash Mobs will obviously be great for the businesses selected and that they will also provide chamber members opportunities to network and enjoy time socializing with other members. The chamber will attempt to ascertain the monetary benefits to each business that is mobbed and mentioned that:

Many of these events should result in the business targeted earning enough during the Cowboy Cash Mob to more than cover their annual membership in the Chamber of Commerce."

While the date of the first mob is yet to be announced, Newman said that the chamber will start by “mobbing” current member businesses. Additional information on the Cowboy Cash Mob program is available at the Laramie Area Chamber of Commerce, located at 800 South Third Street, or by calling (307) 745-7339.

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