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Some Communities Are Printing Their Own Currency

CNN - Jennifer Haley - Steve Carlotta's family-owned camera store is struggling along with other mom and pop stores. But he's found a way to compete with Internet stores and big-box chains.

A sampling of one and five BerkShare notes, courtesy of Jason Houston Photography.

Carlotta's store accepts BerkShares -- a local currency in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He credits it with helping keep local customers coming back to his store.

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.