Cash Mob helping support local businesses

NEGAUNEE — Each second Saturday of the month, a local business can be turned around, thanks to getting mobbed.

Usually, a business takes a few steps backward after they’ve been mobbed. Over the weekend a local organization was mobbed…and took some steps forward.

“We started this back in early 2016, and we spent thousands of dollars throughout the Marquette County community attacking small businesses by surprise, and just getting people together to learn more about small businesses, tell their story and just bring the community out,” said AccelerateUP Enterprise Facilitator Alex Kofsky.

AccelerateUP has been helping entrepreneurs create and maintain business ventures. They believe that once a small business owner figures out how their business can thrive, so too can the community.

“Our country was built on the back of small businesses, and so we look after each other in a time when there’s a lot of online shopping, but we learn each other’s stories, and we figure out how we can support each other,”

The lucky business? Hanna’s Tea times inside Lowensteins Antique Mall. Kofsky told me that  Owner Mary Hanna Ockerman was focusing too much on improving the city that she was forgetting about prioritizing her business.

“He helped me focus and bring my attention back to my passion of starting my business, keeping it up and running, and he helped my focus on the details and got my heart and head back in the game,” Ockerman said.

It was just another Saturday for Accelerate UP…for Hanna’s Tea times, an influx of cash and business, and a chance to accelerate their business.

“I think that’s what it’s all about, and with the cash mob it’s just a wonderful opportunity to hear the story of the small businesses, but also give them feedback and let them know what you want,” said Kofsky.

“I am so proud of this community,” said Ockerman. “Coming from a big city and moving up here was a big change for me because I learned how important it was to support local businesses and community groups and fundraisers and that sort of thing, so I’m really proud of our community, and I just want to tell them thank you.”