Johnny’s Pizza owner Wayne Heuer presenting a check to a representative from the Volunteer Aging Council on Random Acts of Kindness Day on Feb. 17. Also pictured is Hickory Flat Cash Mob creator Melissa Tullis, far right.

A new promotion in Hickory Flat created by local business owner Melissa Tullis called the “Hickory Flat Cash Mob” is highlighting local small businesses in the Hickory Flat area in an effort to showcase and help these businesses grow.

This promotion began on Jan.17 and is similar to the “Downtown Canton Cash Mob” created by Canton Downtown Development Manager Velinda Hardy, which has seen great success since its inception in early January.

“I was invited by to join the ‘Downtown Canton Cash Mob’ Facebook group by a friend of mine who had heard about the promotion,” Tullis said. “I saw what the cash mob was about and I became very interested in replicating something of this nature in the Hickory Flat area, which is where my business, Senior Placement Experts is located. It’s a great way to let residents get to know these small business owners and their businesses.”

Like the downtown Canton promotion, Tullis said Hickory Flat businesses will be chosen at random and spotlighted for a certain amount of time. A live drawing takes place, with Tullis letting the business owner/s know that they have been selected, but she has yet to do a live walk in and surprise, which is something she said she hopes to do soon. Tullis said she also plans on implementing a passport system, similar to Canton’s promotion. Canton’s promotion involves a customer receiving a passport at one of the highlighted businesses. The customer will then have it signed upon spending $20 or more at that business.

On Random Acts of Kindness Day, which was last Wednesday, Tullis partnered with the owner of Johnny’s Pizza in Hickory Flat Wayne Heuer as part of the cash mob promotion. The idea behind this partnership was to raise money for low income seniors in the county.

“Wayne donated a percentage of his sales Wednesday to Canton’s Volunteer Aging Council, and he also agreed to donate, from here until a determined time, a percentage of his sales per month to the VAC, more specifically a family/senior that can’t afford assisted living,” Tullis said. “Basically we will be able to fund families who can’t afford assisted living.”

Tullis added that Heuer challenged other business owners in the area to a random act of kindness, in an effort to raise even more money for the VAC.

Heuer said that he enjoyed helping out his community in anyway that he could, because that’s what this event is all about.

“Tullis came to me with the cash mob idea and asked what I thought,” he said. “I told her I thought it would be a great way to keep the business in the community going, and that the Random Acts of Kindness event would be a great way to raise money for the VAC. It’s very heartwarming to help out the elders in the community.”

Tullis added she plans to have this promotion run for as long as possible in order to let every business have a chance to be in the spotlight.

The group can be found on Facebook by typing in “Hickory Flat Cash Mob.” It is a private group, so a request is needed to join.

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Ethan is a reporter covering the cities of Holly Springs & Canton. He also covers city governments and lifestyle. He is a graduate of Kennesaw State University.

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