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Yumans support bookstore during cash mob
It's been a tough year for The Corner Bookshop, but Thursday afternoon the bookstore at 345 W. 32nd St. buzzed with customers. Community members, many for the first time, visited the store to show their support of the local business.
During a cash mob organized by the Arizona Western College Small Business Development Center, residents were encouraged to spend at least $20 at the store between 4 and 6 p.m.
Participants celebrated with an after-mob party at Steiner's European Deli & Market, 2630 S. 4th Ave.
Bookstore owners Jean Chism and daughter Susan Chism Richards expressed their appreciation to the community.
“This is one of the greatest things,” Richards said. “We feel blessed, we really do. Every little bit helps.”
The economic boost couldn't come at a better time, she said. “This has been the worst year in the last five years.”
As customers waited in line to pay at the register, Chism said, “It's great. It's brought in a lot of new people who had never been here before.”
Customers Dave and Debbie Mansheim know just how thankful they feel. Debbie's business, Basket Creations and More, was the location of Yuma's first cash mob last month.
“It went really great. A lot of people came in,” said Debbie as she browsed the bookshelves.
She had never heard of a cash mob before last month. She was “surprised” and “very grateful” to be chosen for the first such event in Yuma.
“I really want to thank Yuma. No matter how well you plan, when summer comes,” it's a huge drop, she said, pointing downward.
Heather Plaza visited the store with her small children. “This is a great business to support. I love books. I can spend hours in a bookstore. It's a great place to get lost.”
Trishia Estes, daughter Gayda Salyi, 14, and son Garrett, 11, “found something for everyone.” They had never been there before but wanted to support the local business. “And we love to read,” Estes added.
“The reason I'm here is because I want to help out. Most people don't even look at this place, they just drive by. But this is a great bookstore. It has stuff from even before I was born,” Garrett said.
Judy Reaves was happy to show her support. “They're trying to make a living like everybody. It's an honest day's work. I work for a local business and I like it when people support us,” Reaves said as she paid for her purchases.
Daughter Chelsie Sampson said she prefers local businesses. “I stopped shopping at the bigger stores. You can get way better deals here.”
Kathy Tatum, with her arms full of books, noted the importance of supporting local businesses, especially in the summer when the winter visitors are gone.
Shopping locally “keeps Yuma's money here in Yuma,” Chism said.
Richards believes the benefits of the cash mob will live on. “Even those don't make it today now know we're here. In the next few weeks I get the feeling we'll be seeing people who didn't know we were here before.”
Randy Nelson, director of the AWC SBDC, said the next cash mob in July will support a nonprofit organization. To learn the date and time of the next event or to suggest an organization, follow @cmyuma on Twitter; join www.facebook.com/groups/cmyuma; or follow the blog at http://www.awcsbdc.wordpress.com.
Mara Knaub can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6856. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSMaraKnaub or on Twitter at @YSMaraKnaub.