There’s a lot of talk of ‘buying local’ and encouraging customers to buy from small, family-run shops rather than big supermarkets and media giants such as Amazon these days. There are now a number of cities and areas that have created their own currency to make sure that the money that is spent in the city, stays in the city.
The Brixton pound has been flourishing for a while. Yep, Brixton, the small suburb in South London has it’s own currency that is designed to support Brixton businesses and encourage local trade and production. It’s a complementary currency, working alongside (not replacing) pounds sterling, and gives local traders and customers the chance to get together to support each other.
And Brixton isn’t the only place, Bristol also has it’s own currency as does Totnes, the ‘Stroud pound’ in Gloucestershire and the ‘Lewes pound’ in East Sussex. Schemes have also appeared in Canada, the US, France, Germany and elsewhere.
But what’s the use in having cash that’s worthless in the next town or borough over? According to supporters, localised currency is a great way to stimulate the local economy. “Of all the money spent in Bristol, most of it leaves the city almost as soon as it’s spent. It goes up to the financial institutions and gets lost” says social entrepreneur Chris Sunderland. “What people can be sure of with Bristol pounds is that they’re circulating in the city and that’s where they’ll stay.”
So, what do you think? Would you support a local currency? And is there anywhere else that we’ve missed off that has its own currency?
@all: Would you use a local currency?