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.
BBC - The new currency will be launched with 5,000 Lewes pounds.
Traders in an East Sussex town are gearing up to launch their own currency in an effort to encourage shoppers to support the local economy.
Campaigners in Lewes hope to have 30 shopkeepers signed up when they release 5,000 Lewes pounds on 9 September.
It is the idea of Transition Town Lewes, which campaigns for a more self-sufficient community, following a scheme launched in Devon last year.
People will be able to buy the currency at various locations in the town.
METABOSTON - Local activists in the Berkshires created a local currency called BerkShares
to encourage the local economy. Tim Harford questions whether they do any
economic good but thinks they may build community ties:
"The real benefits, if they exist, are not economic but social, and best
explained not by an economist like me but by a sociologist such as Ed Collom
of the University of Southern Maine.
Slate Magazine - Tim Harford - I was recently invited to appear on radio to provide the economists'
perspective on the costs and benefits of local exchange trading schemes,
which are alternative currencies that circulate around a small community.
This made me scratch my head a bit. I could not think of any real benefits,
but then I could not really think of any serious costs, either.
The Independent - Rob Sharp - If you were to nip down to Devon's Totnes market on a Saturday looking to
buy some spelt flour pancakes, crêpes or falafels, then you might just
encounter Lou Brown, who is a remarkably fine cook. But she has another,
non-culinary distinction. Unlike most businesses in the country, Brown does
not deal in currency with a picture of the Queen's head on it. No, instead,
her change features an image much closer to home. The town where she lives.