Cash Mob hits Atlantic Hardware and Appliance store


April 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Sixteen employees of the 1st Whitney Bank and Trust in Atlantic braved the cold air and rode on a flatbed trailer to Robinson True Value Hardware in downtown Atlantic, Monday afternoon. Their mission, to spend at least $20 given to them by their boss, in an effort to promote shopping in Atlantic.

Employees of the 1st Whitney Bank and Trust arrives on a flatbed trailer in front of Robinson True Value Hardware, as part of the 1st “Cash Mob” in Atlantic.

Paul Gude, President of the Bank, said the “Cash Mob” is a twist on the impromptu “Flash Mob.” The idea is to give his employees the cash to spend at one location anyway they see fit. It’s something that’s been in the works for some time now, and is the first of many such events planned through the end of the year.

He said they planned on stopping at several several businesses over the year, and found out the Chamber was interested in conducting a similar program, so bank teamed up with the Chamber to make the first Cash Mob event a success. Gude said his bank will hold a couple of more such events, and one at Christmas, as well.

The idea is also a spin-off of the Atlantic Area Chamber of Commerce’ “Plus 5” campaign, which encourages residents to shift 5-percent of spending on outside purchases, back to Atlantic. Chamber Director Megan Roberts said 1st Whitney Bank and Trust is a great example of local businesses striving to help each other by encouraging their employees to spend locally. She challenged other business to jump on board the band wagon. She says it visually gives the people of Atlantic a chance to see that “Shop local” is more than just a catch phrase.

Megan said Gude read an article about another bank that did something similar, and other area Chambers of Commerce have commented about how successful the “Cash Mob” has been, so it was a natural fit for Atlantic.

1st Whitney employees check out all the store has to offer before making their purchases.

She said a little bit of spending by employees at each business, along with residents of the community, can make a big difference in keeping Atlantic a vibrant place to live and work.
Jack Jensen, owner of Robinson True Value Hardware, said having 1st Whitney Bank and Trust spearhead the effort, is “Priceless.”

Jensen said the bank is a landmark and has been in Atlantic for decades. He said the store “Couldn’t do without them.” Jensen said the bank’s employees were spending more than the $20 allotted them, but the exact dollar amount is not currently available. Employees could be seen lining up at the cash register with kitchen appliances, household utensils and Spring cleanup tools and supplies.

The cash register at Robinson’s was busy ringing up the sales Monday afternoon.

And, while there were 16 employees from the bank in the store Monday afternoon, a total of 21 employees of the bank were given the cash to spend, and some had already visited the store, while others were planning on stopping in later in the week.