A Keller business group is "mobbing" area businesses.Similar to "flash mobs," where a mass of people invade a public space to make a scene and perform, members of Keller Business Connections hold “cash mobs” and meet at local businesses once a month to spend money.The three rules are simple: Spend at least $10, meet three people you didn't know and have fun."We are focusing on putting pride back into the community," said Melissa Steen, the group’s executive director.The July cash mob was held Saturday at Keller Farmers Market, 1100 Bear Creek Parkway.Market manager Patricia Eltiste said 80 to 100 KBC members showed up to shop. “It went very well, there was definitely a lift in attendance during the hour we did the cash mob,” Eltiste said. “Vendors enjoyed seeing the KBC members, some were brand new faces to them which is part of the intent of the cash mob.”Steen said about 65 business members attended the first cash mob April 29 at Jabo’s Ace Hardware, 1580 Keller Pkwy.Ace owner Bill Jablonowski said the event was “exceptional” and helped grow the store’s business-to-business segment.“How great is it to have a store full of folks and gain exposure from a group who so strongly supports local business through Keller Business Connections?” Jablonowski asked. “Any time you can get a group of progressive business people in your operation it simply opens up doors to growth that we might not have otherwise had.”Jablonowski said he encourages local business owners to stop by and talk to store management about about how Jabo’s Ace Hardware can help source business needs. “We would personally like to thank Keller Business Connections for making Jabo’s Ace Hardware the first cash mob in Keller,” he said. About 40 people attended the second cash mob event June 3 at Michaels, 2005 S. Main St."We were so honored that the Keller cash mob chose to shop at Michaels, and we enjoyed learning about this local group and how they’re supporting the community," store Manager Jackie Young said.Steen said the committee that selects the businesses took a little heat for choosing Michaels, a franchise store, over a small, locally owned business.She said the store was selected because it is such a big part of the community, helping with everything from homecoming mums to funeral floral arrangements."We support local businesses," she said. "Michaels employs 48 full-time people that live in Keller."Steen said KBC was created to unite local commerce and the community. Basic membership in the group begins at $150 and gives business owners the opportunity to participate in training programs and gain business exposure through networking events.For more information, go to www.kellerbusinessconnections.com.
Susan McFarland, 817-390-7547 Twitter: @susanmcfarland1