Cash mobs connect CU staff, members with local businesses

June 26, 2014

Members of credit unions don’t always realize they’re doing business with a local financial institution in which they have an ownership stake. But more-and-more people do realize the importance of supporting locally-owned businesses as a means of building healthy communities.

Over the past several months, Mountain Credit Union has provided members with a chance to learn about and support both of these concepts by scheduling a series of cash mob events at small businesses in western North Carolina. Cash mobs are pre-planned events that connect consumers with local businesses. Simply put, consumers meet at the business, check out the goods and (hopefully) make purchases.

Mountain worked with three local small businesses in the greater Asheville area in 2013, and they hope to do more in the year ahead. “We target businesses that have an existing relationship with the credit union,” said Mountain Credit Union Business Development Director Chris Angel, “so it’s a way for us to give back to them, and connect staff and members with local businesses they may not be aware of.”

One such business the credit union targeted was Asheville Home Crafts, which is located in the Grove Arcade. Asheville Home Crafts sells fiber art produced by artisans within a 100 mile radius of Asheville, and sells locally grown and woven yarns in the western NC region.

Founded 11 years ago by Judy Quinn and Marie Hendrix, Asheville Home Crafts gives local artists a place to sell their crafts. Through this time, the local business has flourished and has provided a prime connecting point for artists and tourists alike. The owners of the store are long-time members of Mountain Credit Union, and have their business accounts there as well.

Besides giving local businesses a boost, these cash mob events have given Mountain Credit Union a chance to share with staff and members that the credit union is also a local, cooperatively-owned business. “It’s a win-win,” noted Angel, who envisioned the events as a means to educate staff and members about the credit union, while saying thank you to member businesses.

See full story here.

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