A couple of weeks ago my 7 year old and I attended a Cash Mob. A Cash Mob is a concerted effort to get people to go into a specific local (usually locally owned) shop and spend some money at a specific time. Very often social media tools are used to promote a cash mob.
For example, I follow Cash Mob Minneapolis on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/CashMobMpls I saw on Facebook that they were planning a Cash Mob near me. I got the notice a couple hours in advance but it worked for us and we went up and spent about $20. It was a small shop, jammed with people who were all clearly happy to be supporting the local business. Then I proceeded to stop in several other shops in the area spreading more good cheer and money. So it’s not the kind of thing you’d want to attend weekly – but it was fun and hopefully good for the business and area.
You can find a Cash Mob near your neighborhood online: http://cashmobs.wordpress.com/near-you/ If there isn’t one near you, you might consider starting one. I think it’s such a good idea to boost a little local economic development.