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(Photo: Greater Phoenix Black Chamber of Commerce)

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- You've heard of flash mobs, where a big crowd meets at a certain place and time to perform a song or dance.

Now there are "cash mobs," dedicated to helping local businesses. And they're mobbing in the Valley.

"The idea came up as a way of promoting some of the businesses that are having a hard time during the struggling economy," said Kerwin Brown, president of the Greater Phoenix Black Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber decided to hold its first cash mob last Tuesday at Get Sassy Beauty Supply in Chandler.

"We put the word out through social media and our other contacts that we were going to all converge on this one business on one day and commit to spending at least $15," said Brown.

The store was chosen because the strip mall it's in is recovering from a recent fire. Brown said 50 people showed up and spent cash, with many more buying at least $15 worth of merchandise on the store's website.

Shop owner Vanessa Young was left with a lot of cash.

"As [Young] said, there's no way her receipts would have looked this good during the middle of the week if we hadn't done this for her," said Brown.

The target of the chamber's next cash mob is an ice cream shop in Old Town Scottsdale.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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