Media Coverage

Recent News

Keeping Money Local

Albany Times Union - Those of you who have visited Great Barrington and the southern Berkshires
in the past month may have noticed some unusual currency being spent in
local businesses.

The currency, called BerkShares, has been available in the southern
Berkshires since Sept. 29. About 115,000 share units are circulating. Using
the local currency, its backers contend, keeps wealth local and supports
busineses that are local.

Buying into BerkShares

Berkshire Trade & Commerce - John Townes - Ever since the colonial era, southern Berkshire County has been known for its independent spirit. Now, the region is taking a step towards greater economic independence by launching its own local currency – called “BerkShares” – on the weekend of Sept. 29.

This does not mean the southern Berkshires are seceding from the Union or withdrawing from the national economy. The familiar federal currency will continue to be the coin-of-the-realm in south county.

Free Local Talent Variety Show to Launch BerkShares Program at Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

iBerkshires - The BerkShares local currency program will have its grand kick off on Friday, Sept. 29 at 7 PM at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center with a free local variety show showcasing over 25 area musicians, dancers and artists. The show offers everyone in the family the opportunity to be entertained for free while being able to see and admire the newly-renovated, beautiful Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. Talented local performers who will be participating include dancers from Berkshire Pulse, Vikki True, Drs.

The Monitor's View

Christian Science Monitor - Union-backed critics of Wal-Mart are in full throttle to push politicians into echoing their complaints about the retail chain as they stump this fall. What's missing in this organized campaign are tales of how communities have met the Wal-Mart challenge.

Much of this political effort to change the world's largest retailer would be better spent in spreading the lessons of communities and local merchants that have found ways to survive, even thrive, with the big-box discount chains.

Funny Money to Boost a Biz?

Berkshire Eagle - Derek Gentile - Local businessmen and town officials are bracing for a slew of pseudo-cash slated to circulate in South County at the end of next month.
But it's all for a good cause.

About $865,000 worth of BerkShares, a local currency created specifically to encourage consumers to buy locally in South County, will be minted and released the weekend of Sept. 29.

Utopian Visions: A Breath of Fresh Air

Women's Crossroads Blog - Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez - I have been reading Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia, a 1960’s-era utopian novel envisioning what would happen if the West Coast of the U.S. seceded from the union, and became entirely self-sustaining by reducing its demand for fossil fuels and inventing new sustainable technologies. The book also describes a social revolution as radical as anything Marx ever came up with—communal living, free love (of course, it was written in the 60’s), and cradle-to-grave security. Ecotopia also happens to be governed by women!