NAMPA — The Nampa Chamber of Commerce is bringing the national Cash Mob movement — an effort to promote local business — close to home.

About 25 chamber members surprised Stone Lumber Co. Tuesday, each committing to spend at least $10 at the hardware and building materials store — one of the chamber’s oldest members.

“I think it’s great. ... We just appreciate it,” Stone Lumber owner Monte Schlerf said. “It’s been a long four years with the economic downturn.”

And this year started on a sad note — co-owner Roger Kotter, a beloved family man and community member, died unexpectedly in January.

But throughout the trials, Stone Lumber has moved forward and maintained faithful clientele, Schlerf said.

“Fortunately this spring things are picking up a little bit with housing, new home construction,” he said.

By holding Cash Mobs and surprising Nampa companies — hopefully about once a month — the chamber hopes to infuse extra cash into the local economy and encourage the public to do the same, chamber President Georgia Bowman said.

“If we all spent $10 a week some place where we normally would take it out of town, then we’ll make an impact,” she said.

Cash Mob participant Rachelle Cote, a customer service representative at Bank of the Cascades in Nampa, said she tries to shop at a local, independent business at least once a week.

“I think they’re ignored, I think they’re forgotten,” she said. “Sometimes they have the best deals, sometimes they have the best service because they’re from here.”

So what local business will the Cash Mob hit next? Until it happens, only the organizers know. But don’t worry — the chamber limits the number of participants based on what the company can handle at a given time.

“We don’t want to create chaos, we just wanted to create kindness and support,” Bowman said.

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