Wayside Business Shutting Down, Cash Mob Tries to Bring Bucks
Cash Mob Charlottesville is set to strike again. This time, the group is descending on a group of businesses hit hard not only be the economy, but also by a major city construction problem. It looks like some of those shops won't survive the customer cuts and profit losses.
In the parking lot right next to the Jefferson Park Avenue bridge construction project, Hoo's Brew coffee shop serves up cups of joe and piles of baked goods. But the customer base is dwindling, and that likely means closing the doors for good.
"I'm not just speaking for me or my husband. I'm speaking for every last one of these businesses in here. Everybody is hurting big time," Hoo's Brew Co-Owner Joan Bishop said.
Shutting down means letting Bishop's two employees go, and ending an endeavor she has put her heart and soul into. Bishop says the bridge needs work, but a lot of people didn't think about just how much this would affect them.
"I know we needed it because the bridge was in terrible shape, but I don't blame them for what it's doing to us because it had to be done," Bishop said. "I mean, what can I say, you know?"
The Cash Mob organizers hope their efforts won't just bring money to the handful of businesses, but awareness that the mom and pop shops are struggling.
"The most important thing is to come and have a sense of community and to show the businesses that we know they're here," Charlottesville Cash Mob organizer Bob Fenwick said, "that we appreciate what they do, because small businesses by far create more jobs than any big business in the country."
Fenwick says there were more nominations from the community pushing for a Cash Mob invasion of these Wayside businesses than anywhere else.
Usually, the Cash Mob asks anyone who joins in the consumer frenzy to bring $20 to spend. This time, since there are about five shops in the parking lot the group is targeting, they're asking people to pay up what they can.
The event begins at 1 p.m. Saturday, and is set to help out Wayside Take Out & Catering, JPA Fast Mart, Hoo's Brew, Wayside Barber Shop, Durty Nelly's, Fry's Spring Station and Wayside Deli. There will also be live music and entertainment. Everyone is welcome to join in the fun and support the business near the JPA bridge.
Also, the Cash Mob is partnering with the non-profit The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative to help them as well. The group is asking the community to donate money or wish list items to the organization, including a SLR camera for workshops, a podium for literary events, and a space heater for the office.
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Dannika Lewis joined the NBC29 news team as a general assignment reporter in June 2010. She started her ventures in broadcast news at Elon University where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism. Email/Follow on Twitter/ Full Story