ABC40 - BerkShares local currency supports the community, economy, ecology, and sustainability of the southern Berkshire region of Massachusetts. Launched by the E. F. Schumacher Society, BerkShares creates consumer awareness about the consequences of spending practices, supports local businesses, facilitates the development of import replacing industries, and serves as a model for other regions.
ABC40 - Eric Fisher - While the country as a whole struggles, many are thinking about their local priorities. There are few initiatives more local than Berkshares.
"I'm a believer in sustainable economies and keeping things local, and this is the epitomy of keeping things local," says Steffen Root of Berkshire Bike & Board.
In his store, and at dozens of others, Berkshares are accepted. They're a relatively new currency used in the Berkshires, now about two years old. Over 2 million Berkshares are now in circulation, with about $200,000 actively being used.
Ithaca Times - Glynis Hart - At the annual Ithaca Hours Membership meeting, 17 people occupy chairs. Two
children are playing under one of the tables, their voices gradually
increasing in volume until they rival the grownups' and someone hushes them.
Steve Burke, the current Chairman of the Board of Directors, takes the
podium to talk about the state of the Hour.
"We think this could be a really big time for Hours," says Burke. "The
number of media inquiries we've been getting about Hours has increased
NEWSWEEK - Tony Dokoupill - When money is scarce or stops flowing, alternative currencies can keep a local economy afloat. They convert time, skills, and other resources into wealth, and keep resources circulating among community members so there is greater demand for local businesses' goods and services.
Changemakers - Arin Farrington - How would you like to be able to move house—packing, transportation, cleaning, moving materials removal, and gardening included—without spending a dollar? If you lived in New South Wales, Australia, you could use shells, issued in points, to pay for everything but the gardening, which you would pay for with time.
Metro UK - It's one way of beating the credit crunch – print your own money. Which is exactly what one historic market town has done to try to protect its economy and encourage people to shop locally.
Traders and residents in Lewes, East Sussex, yesterday saw the launch of
their own pound note. Up to 10,000 Lewes Pounds have been printed, each with
a face value of one pound sterling.
Crawley Observer - Residents in an historic East Sussex county town are gearing up for the
launch next week of its own currency. About 40 local traders in Lewes have agreed to accept the Lewes Pound as a complementary currency to pound Sterling.
Up to 10,000 one Lewes Pound notes have been designed and will be unveiled
at the launch next Tuesday at the town hall. Organizers say the initiative would help increase a sense of pride in the community, help cut CO2 emissions and boost economic resilience amid the global economic downturn.
The Observer - Jamie Doward, Naomi Loomes - The value of sterling may be plummeting as fears grow over the depth of a
possible recession. But in the scenic East Sussex town of Lewes - famous for
its bonfire night parties and bewildering number of pubs - a handy
alternative is about to become available.
Plenty Magazine - Joshua Payne - People flock to the Berkshires in Massachusetts to ski, hike, and spend their money in the low-lying mountain range’s quaint shops. But forget the bucks: There’s a new currency on the block—BerkShares.