STEVENSVILLE — It was a rainy Wednesday afternoon at the Half Full Gift Boutique. Not much cooking. And then in walked a parade of “Cash Mob” sign waving people from the Chamber of Commerce. Like a triumphant band of cheerleaders they had come to spend. Shop proprietor, Laurie Mastroberti, was thrilled as she supplied shopping tips to her suddenly full store.

The store instantly mobbed with eager Easter shoppers was loaded with positive energy. Uplifting banners and fun lines of products filled the shelves with gifting possibilities.

There are chambers around the country that are doing cash mobs, said Tracy Wilson, Administrative Assistant at the Queen Anne’s Chamber of Commerce, the Queen Anne’s Chamber picked up the idea and though it would be a great way to boost a local business member.

Director of Economic Development, Heather Tinelli was there to participate. “It is my first cash mob ever. I love it. I think we need to support our local businesses. This small group will tell others how great this place is so hopefully it will grow over time. Our small businesses need some love.”

“As we come out of COVID, businesses are gearing up for a resurgence as people get their shots and want to get out of the house in a safe way,” she added.

“I think being cash mobbed is awesome and very much appreciated,” said Mastroberti, whose business partner is Stacie McGuines. She was interrupted with a sale so she couldn’t talk further.

Susan Vianna is the past chair of the chamber. “Linda [Friday] came up with the idea and invited this group to come out and shop.” She was buying two thermal tumblers for her daughters as an Easter gift.

Kelly Keating is on the executive board and is the treasurer of the chamber. “I try to shop local and support all our local businesses.”

“Hopefully things are returning to normalcy,” said Chamber President Linda Friday, “People are anxious to get out and get involved. We would like to do this every quarter to support smaller businesses here in our community.”

Milling around the soy candles and goat milk soap was Robert Sullivan. “Linda said ‘you have to come.’ I am not even in the chamber,” he joked. He bought some stuff too.

The Chamber’s driven to help small businesses who survived the COVID shut down and knows it is crucial to the way our communities are going to look in six months. A lot of businesses with big overheads folded, Friday noted, so a great way to support the survivors is to get out and spend $50. The cash mob message is that, “If we each do a little, together we can achieve a lot.”

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