Anne Gill

Ahwatukee Foothills new Chamber of Commerce CEO is WellCare Foundation Executive Director Anne Gill. Oct 20, 2011. Darryl Webb/AFN

Darryl Webb

We love our local businesses and their unique impact on our community. Saturday, Aug. 18 is dedicated to driving sales to small businesses at one of the slowest times of the year. Cash Mob Saturday is the time to come out and support local small businesses in your community and boost the economy in the process.

Statistics from the U.S. Business Administration state that the nearly 28 million small businesses in the United States create 65 percent of net new jobs. According to small business advocacy group, The 3/50 Project, with every $100 that is spent at a local retailer, $68 will return to the community through taxes and payroll. This only furthers the need to increase awareness about small businesses.

“It is a well-accepted fact that small business is the backbone of our economy” said Ahwatukee Foothills resident and Arizona State Sen. John McComish. “And, I believe that local businesses are the backbone of our community. It is the local business that joins the Chamber of Commerce, sponsors the Little League team, contributes to Red White, and Boom, etc. The Community Cash Mob on Aug. 18 is a great opportunity for us to say thanks in a way that really counts.”

And that’s what Cash Mob Saturday is about. Granted not every small business retailer will open their doors and have a line wrapped around the block, but there are benefits to shopping locally and participating in Cash Mob Saturday on Aug. 18.

Local businesses create environments that foster social ties as people shopping are likely to run into neighbors and engage in a conversation. Local businesses also promote civic engagement as business owners are tied personally and financially to the community’s well-being. As a result, they are often active in various civic endeavors and community events.

Cash Mob Saturday is a day to support the small businesses that help fuel the economy and invigorate our community. Make a decision to find and patronize a locally owned business. Or simply gather some friends and dine at a local, independent restaurant and treat yourself to a unique and personal dining experience. Use our online business directory at to locate nearby businesses offering specific goods or services.

For Cash Mob Saturday to be more than a blip on the radar, its sentiment has to stay in our minds throughout the rest of the year. One day’s sales won’t cover the financial strain many small businesses are facing in today’s economy. But if people make it a habit to shop local first, they can make a difference. Small business might be the backbone of the community, but the customers are the heart that keeps it vibrant.

Anne Gill is president and chief executive officer of the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce. Reach her at (480) 753-7676 or

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