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Recent News

Some Communities Print Their Own Currency to Keep Money Local

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.

Communities Print Thier Own Currency to Keep Cash Flowing

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.

Detroit Cash Keeps the Hometown Humming

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.

The Future of Money

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.

Local Food for Thought

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.”

Why We Need the Stroud Pound

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.