January 2009

How to Print Your Own Money, Build Community & Not Get Arrested by the Feds

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.

Barter Economy

BBC - Jack Izzard - It has been a bad week for sterling - at one point the pound dropped to its lowest level against the dollar for 23 years.

Its drastic decline has even prompted some City analysts to hint at of a crisis of confidence in our currency.

But is there an alternative to our beleaguered pound?

Well, yes. Small bartering collectives have been set up across the UK.

Community Currency Gaining Visability

The Times-Standard - Donna Tam - With the continuously bleak predictions for our nation's economy, a group of local consumers is urging the community to invest in itself through paper currency that can only be used in Humboldt County.

The Humboldt Exchange Community Currency Project, a volunteer-run group promoting the use of community currency in exchange for local services, produces the colorful bills, featuring local images created by local artists.

"BerkShares" Currency Helps Keep Up Local Western Mass. Economy

Finding Dulcinea - Anne Szustek - Banks in Western Massachusetts’ Berkshires region are helping gear money toward local businesses by way of BerkShares, a currency that offers customers 10 percent off purchases.

Susan Witt, the executive director of Western Massachusetts-based think tank E.F. Schumacher Society, a group focused on local production, was quoted in online publication Worldchanging: “In the last four years, there has been a renewed interest in local economy, local production.”

Going green: Communities Make Their Own Currencies

The Associated Press - Rodrique Ngowi - Diana Felber brought her groceries to the
checkout and counted out her cash — purple, blue and green bills that
aremgood only at businesses in western Massachusetts.

Known as "BerkShares," the colorful currency is printed by a nonprofit group
to encourage people to spend close to home in the state's Berkshire region.

Customers who use the money also get a built-in 10 percent discount, since
they can get 100 BerkShares for just $90 at local banks.