A 'Cash Mob' is moving into Downtown Hanford

FRESNO, California

The L.T. Sue Co. Tea Room will be the first locally owned business to be hit by the Hanford Cash Mob. Steve Banister has been brewing up tea here for nearly a year.

Steve Banister said, "That's really what's helped us survive our first year, is word of mouth. People come here and they really think our place is unique. They enjoy what we have to offer. Then they tell someone else. And before we know it we have all kinds of people in here."

Banister is hoping this Facebook campaign will help his and other local businesses in Hanford. The group page already has about 24-hundred 'likes'.

Francisco Ramirez, who helped launch the Hanford cash mob said, "Nowadays, it's so tough for business to flourish. So we all get together once a month to try and support any local business. The mentality is buy local, stay local."

The plan, he says, is for each person attending the cash mob to spend 20 dollars at each business. The hope is this will lead to a trickle-down effect.

"They might stop here for the cash mob, but then they'll go to superior dairy afterward or visit some of our unique shops," Banister said. "We don't consider it just beneficial to us, but beneficial to all of downtown."

Ramirez added. "As a whole, a lot of these tax dollars stay in the community and it's for vital structures such as police and community groups and activities around here, and that's what we need."

Some local shops in Downtown Hanford have experienced tough times over the last year. The Vendome Hotel once stood in Downtown Hanford, but the building burned down last July, which caused the road to be closed. Some owners say that lead to a loss in foot traffic and sales. There is talk of rebuilding with more retail space. But in the meantime, this cash mob effort is one of several to help grow these South Valley shops.

The first Hanford cash mob will take place on February 23rd.

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