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Letter: A mob with a purpose

Last Tuesday our book shop was the host for a “Carrotmob” event.

Carrotmob is an international organization that works with small businesses to increase revenue when the business owners agree to make some desirable change. Earlier this semester we were approached by a group of New England College students (working under the supervision of Dr. Cyndy Carlson) and they offered a “carrot” (the increased revenue via a “mob” of customers they would generate) if we could come up with an environmentally sound outcome. In our case we pledged all of the proceeds from one day’s book sales to help eliminate the use of fuel oil to heat our shop.

They developed a campaign for our event, promoted it at New England College in Henniker as well as online. They succeeded in creating a “mob” of book buyers, above and beyond anything we might expect for a cold Tuesday in December. The outcome was a 300 percent increase in sales. In keeping with our agreement we have ordered a high-efficiency wood stove from a New Hampshire-based seller and will now heat our shop solely with a locally supplied, renewable New Hampshire resource.

Aside from the positive move we have made in running our small business, we were gratified to see a group of young people promoting, organizing and delivering change on a local scale. We encourage small businesses in New Hampshire to consider partnering with Carrotmob by proposing a campaign that could very well be as much of a win-win as our campaign was. Details on how to propose an event can be found at carrotmob.org.

GARY and MELINDA McGRATH

Henniker

(The writers run the Henniker Book Farm.)

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