Fox News - Molly Line - It looks like Monopoly money, but the colorful currency created by collaborators in the western Massachusetts town of Great Barrington is helping pump real dollars into the local economy.
The creative cash is called "BerkShares," a play on words, referring to the mountainous region called the Berkshires, where businesses and citizens have come together to support each other in these tough economic times.
USA Today - Marisol Bello - A small but growing number of cash-strapped communities are printing their own money.
Borrowing from a Depression-era idea, they are aiming to help consumers make ends meet and support struggling local businesses.
The systems generally work like this: Businesses and individuals form a network to print currency. Shoppers buy it at a discount — say, 95 cents for $1 value — and spend the full value at stores that accept the currency.
The Detroit News - Louis Aguilar - During the Great Depression eight decades ago, confidence in the national economy was so shattered, and people's ability to earn cash so limited, that thousands of communities created local currencies to save hometown commerce.
Provincial dollars allowed businesses and their customers to exchange goods and services with currency that had regional worth.
Financial Times of London - Fiona Leney - In the pretty Sussex town of Lewes, 10 miles inland from the southern
English coast, an interesting experiment is taking place.
River Cities' Reader - Jeff Ignatius - Reader issue #719 In the Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, area, you can walk around with coins in your pocket that can be exchanged for goods and services at more than five dozen merchants. They say "Liberty" and "Trust in God" on the front, and on the back they claim a value of $20 or $50. They're made of silver, and they are neither produced nor endorsed by the federal government.
In Fairfield, Iowa, those same coins are accepted at more than 15 merchants, from Mexican restaurants to Radio Shack.
Ann Arbor Chronicle - Mary Morgan - The day’s final speaker was Chris Bedford, president of the Center for Economic Security. He told the group that our country is in a crisis of over-consumption, of spirit and of trust. It’s imperative that we “re-localize” our economy, he said, especially in the areas of food, finance and energy. It’s all about economic renewal and community resilience – if we’re to survive, he said, we need to “trust each other, know each other, work with each other and love each other in our communities.”
Ruscombe Green Blog - Phillip Booth - Christian Gelleri, Manager of the Chiemgau Currency was in town last month talking about 'A Local Currency for Stroud?' The Chiemgauer is one of Germany's most successful local currencies. It began as a school project and was formally launched in the small Bavarian town of Chiemgau in 2003. There are over 600 participating businesses and 2,600 members who keep nearly 300,000 Chiemgauers in circulation.
TreeHugger - Mat McDermott - I want anyone who's got a joke on the tip of their tongue about 'monopoly money' to put it out of their mind. Printing your own local community currency is a perfectly legitimate thing to do—you can't make your own local coins but bills are legal, at least in the US—and can be a great way to encourage shopping at local businesses. It doesn't replace federal printed currency, but augments it by getting people to make the practical and symbolic gesture of supporting local businesses before national chains.