(Cash) Mob hit planned for Portland

Downtown Portland is going to be a mob scene on March 22.

No – really.

The city’s first “Cash Mob” is hitting the downtown a week from Thursday. A play off the term “flash mob,” a cash mob involves getting a bunch of people to one location to spend money at a determined set of local businesses.

Portland’s Cash Mob is being organized by a new local website, www.gr8PortlandME.com, and is set for Monument Square at 5:30 p.m.

The company behind the website is Local Thunder, a Portland-based company that, according to the release, “has been building dynamic, online communities since 2003. The company specializes in working with local partners such as membership-based organizations or media companies to create robust, content-rich online marketing platforms and mobile directories that showcase local businesses. The Local Thunder platform is currently in over 30 markets across the country.”

According to the release, folks are invited to meet at the square, and are asked to bring $20 to spend at the chosen businesses. Details of the businesses to be “cash mobbed” and “after mobbed” will be revealed at that time as well as simultaneously on the Cash Mob Portland Maine Facebook page and on Twitter @cmportlandme.

And there will be an “after mob” (sort of like an après ski, but likely without hot-tubs) at a local bar.

The Cash Mob concept was started by a guy in Ohio named Andrew Samtoy, and was coined by Marty Mordarski. Local organizers hope Portland’s relatively fervent buy-local tendency will make the Cash Mob a success here.

“The Portland, Maine community is one of constant support and pride in buying local, so a Cash Mob is something we know will be very strong and are proud organize,” said Gretchen Kruysman, Local Thunder president.