Ohio CUs Host ‘Cash Mobs’ to Support Small Business

‘Leave your footprint: Strive every day to make a difference.’

November 10, 2012

 The spotlight is on Jaime Crooks, marketing director, Ohio HealthCare FCU, Dublin. 

Our CU staged a “cash mob” to: Engage the credit union’s members and create social media awareness—aimed at steering the public toward locally owned and operated establishments.

How we got the idea: I serve on our Central Ohio Credit Union Chapter’s marketing committee.

We were brainstorming things we could do to spread the good word about credit unions and reach out to our communities. We all had heard about the cash mob concept and felt it would be a great focus for us this year. Our credit union agreed to host the August cash mob at a local restaurant, Gallo’s Pit BBQ.

Our goals for the event: While we didn’t set any concrete goals, when we received word that the restaurant’s single-day sales increased by 66%, we were thrilled. It exceeded our expectations.

We generated a lot of publicity around the event: It was highlighted on community websites, and we benefited from the chapter’s publicity, which listed upcoming cash mobs.

The chapter has scheduled future cash mobs: Through January, at least—one each month, except for November due to a scheduling conflict. Check out the schedule at

This kind of effort can make a big difference for small businesses: It’s difficult for them to advertise because their budgets are limited. Franchises have the benefit of corporate commercials and advertising.

The cash mob provides another avenue of advertising at no cost, and can help garner media attention, as well. Who wouldn’t want to have someone advertise their business for them? Through each cash mob, we’re encouraging people to spend their money at a locally owned business. If they’re going to spend their money somewhere, let’s encourage them to do it where it makes a direct impact on the community.

Ohio’s small businesses are still struggling: We still see some small businesses closing their doors. I think they’re on an upward climb, but only the ones that could afford to hang on during the past couple of years can handle the slow increase.

Other ways we volunteer and support the community: We’re big supporters of Credit Unions for Kids (for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals). I’m currently the chair for our Ohio Credit Unions for Kids steering committee.

Professional accomplishment I’m most proud of: We spearhead a statewide event called Marching Miles for Miracle Kids. Each year, we hold walks around the state as fund-raisers for our local children’s hospital.

This past year was our biggest year yet, bringing in a total of $171,000. This brings our six-year total to more than $670,000. It’s rewarding to see how much our credit unions support our local children’s hospitals and help kids in our communities. I’m honored to be the one leading them.

My most exciting personal endeavor: Raising my three beautiful children—Brayden, 5, Kyler, 3, and Kenzie, 1.

How my childhood influenced my career: My mother let me get involved in anything I wanted to learn—piano, swimming, dancing, gymnastics, horseback riding, tennis, cheerleading, singing, acting, flute, taekwondo…and many more.

You never know if you’re going to like something unless you try it. In marketing, you never know if something is going to work unless you try it.

My best friends would describe me as: Cheerful, determined, hard-working, and a good cook.

My personal motto: Leave your footprint: Strive every day to make a difference. Make an impact on the lives of those around you and on generations to come.