When Coldwell Banker Agent Maryanne Elsaesser and Branch Vice President Darlene Bandazian first sat down for drinks recently, it's not likely they could have known they'd leave that table with an idea that would make a difference to the local economy here in Wyckoff.
But Elsaesser and Bandazian brainstormed a new local business initiative that night that hopes to pour cash into township businesses and help those local business owners find some new, lifelong customers.
That night, they started Wyckoff Cash Mob.
"We heard that this has been done before and wanted to bring it to town," Elsaesser said. "But I wanted to knock it out of the park."
Elsaesser went to her Coldwell Banker co-workers and got everyone involved — each agent went out and found one local business to sponsor.
Starting this week and continuing every Thursday until Christmas the group plans to announce three local businesses. Community members will then be encouraged to patronize those stores. At the end of the day everyone involved will all be invited to attend a fun networking event celebration at Coldwell Banker.
Abma's Farm , Angel Tips Nail Spa and The Good China are the first businesses featured in the Wyckoff Cash Mob, which essentially is a social networking blitz that shines a spotlight on the businesses.
The goal is to persuade the buying public to take a closer look at some of the local merchants and consider spending their hard-earned dinero locally, rather than taking a trip out to Route 17.
Elsaesser said that recently she stopped into one Franklin Avenue store on a whim, realizing she'd never been there before. If she'd never been there, Elsaesser thought, it was a surefire bet many other longtime Wyckoff residents likely hadn't either.
Wyckoff Cash Mob is a grassroots way to help promote businesses that perhaps couldn't afford advertising, but provided local services and personalized shopping options not available anywhere else.
"What a feeling to have that level of customer service, rather than have people ignore you at a big box store," Elsaesser said, adding that customers also are bound to save time shopping locally.
The initiative is critical to the continued growth and prosperity of Wyckoff, according to Elsaesser.
"If the stores are empty people arent going to want to live in the community," she said. "If we can work as a community we can make great things happen."
Asked why she and her colleagues decided to take their time and effort to create the group — Wyckoff Cash Mob doesn't generate any revenue itself — Elsaesser said it was just the right thing to do.
"If you pay it forward and service others without any expectation of return, great things come back to you," she said.
Coldwell Banker is always trying to do something to make a difference, she added.
She said residents looking to participate should check back with the website weekly to see where the next cash mob would strike.
"Even if you don't have anything you need to purchase," Elsaesser said. "Just stop in to see what they have to offer."
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