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Sustainable businesses in Carnegie to get 'cash mob'

| Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Mobs will overtake Carnegie Friday, but it's no cause for alarm.

A “cash mob,” organized by Sustainable Pittsburgh, will target six Carnegie businesses that have taken steps to become more environmentally friendly.

“It's similar to a flash mob, but instead of doing a coordinated dance, a bunch of people come together to support a business by shopping there,” said Ginette Walker Vinski, Sustainable Pittsburgh communications manager.

The mob will shop from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Black Lamb Consignments, Distinctively Different Décor, Modern Mercantile, the Carnegie Coffee Company, More Than Words Fine Papers and Puhlman's Flower Shoppe.

Walker Vinski said the six businesses were chosen because of their involvement in the Southwestern Pennsylvania Sustainable Small Business Program. Induction into the program involves a self-assessment done by business owners that addresses a variety of topics, including energy and water conservation, waste management, business practices and transportation.

“For example, to become designated, it might mean getting an energy audit or purchasing a renewable energy certificate,” Walker Vinski said. “Sustainability is really an umbrella for so many topics, including energy, water, waster, transportation and general business operations.”

She said the organization has been working with the Carnegie Community Development Corporation and wanted to highlight the borough's revival.

“It seems like there's a lot of energy in the community,” she said.

Joanne Letcher, CCDC executive director, said she hopes the cash mob will introduce people to a new side of Carnegie.

“I hope it brings in new people to Carnegie who haven't been here before, or even residents who are here that haven't taken a walk or a good look at downtown to see what's there,” she said.

Carnegie Mayor Jack Kobistek said he hopes the event will segue into the holiday shopping season for these businesses.

“The holiday season makes or breaks a lot of these types of businesses,” he said.

For more information, visit www.c4spgh.org/smallbiz. Walker Vinski said the group is encouraging those planning to support the cash mob RSVP to the event online.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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