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Planting seeds for local youth-driven enterprise

PLANTING SEEDS FOR LOCAL YOUTH-DRIVEN ENTERPRISE

Growing up in south county, you are more likely to meet up with your friends at an independent cinema and go for a locally made ice cream than you are to hang out at the mall. Your summer job is probably with a small nonprofit, local retail shop, farm or restaurant. You are fortunate enough to be surrounded by a strong culture of independent businesses and a robust network of community banks.

BerkShares exchange at Gt. Barrington Branch of Salisbury Bank

BERKSHARES EXCHANGE SERVICE BEGINS AT GREAT BARRINGTON BRANCH OF SALISBURY BANK AND TRUST COMPANY

BerkShares, Inc. is pleased to announce that, starting on April 1st, participants in the local economy can exchange their dollars for BerkShares at the Great Barrington branch of Salisbury Bank and Trust Company.  Salisbury Bank and Trust Company has been a long-time partner of BerkShares, Inc., and its Sheffield and South Egremont branches were among the first banks to start offering BerkShares exchange services in September of 2006.  

 

Ten Things You Don't Know About: The Almighty Dollar

Black Flag's former frontman Henry Rollins came to the Berkshires with the crew from the History Channel 2's show Ten Things You Don't Know About to learn about BerkShares.  He visited Tune Street, a locally owned record store in Great Barrington, to buy an album with local currency, and interviewed BerkShares Coordinator Alice Maggio at the library and offices of Schumacher Center for a New Economics.  The video will be available until October 19, 2014 on the History Channel's website, and after that on iTunes. 

The Rise of Alternative Currencies

OZY - The financial crisis has brought Spain to its knees. The economy is all anyone wants to talk about, cities are papered with “For Sale” signs and the staggering increase in unemployment — 26 percent overall and nearly twice that for young people — is pushing Spaniards to think financially outside the box.

 

Several schemes have been set up to try and minimize the effects of the crisis on people’s purchasing power. The most popular so far is Time Banks.

 

Minting Money In Massachusetts

TruthAtlas.com - GREAT BARRINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS – The mountainous Berkshires region of western Massachusetts is making money the old-fashioned way–by minting its own currency. This local scrip, called BerkShares, isn’t part of a secessionist movement or a nose-thumb at the federal government. Instead, it’s an unusual, successful, and perfectly legal way to encourage local spending.

Berkshire County Eschews Dollars for Own Currency - BerkShares

Washington Times - Cheryl K. Chumley - It started at five community banks and has now spread to more than 400 local businesses. One small county in Massachusetts has created its own system of money, currency called BerkShares that’s accepted by a large portion of the establishments in the community.

And $100 will get you 105 BerkShares — a 5 percent discount for money that’s good at most of the local stores, PBS NewsHour reported. Conversely, trading in BerkShares for greenbacks calls for a 5 percent fee — so 105 BerkShares only buys $100 at the banks.

Celebrating Small Business Saturday Everyday by Buying Local

MSNBC's Your Business - Great Barrington, MA is a beautiful town tucked away in the Berkshires, and shopping small is at its core. Just two hours away from both New York and Boston, the downtown area has an active buy local movement, its own currency, and plans to kick off the holiday shopping season with a bang on Small Business Saturday.

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