I just came across an article that was in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, titled Community Currencies Aim to Aid Merchants. It's a story about a neighborhood in San Francisco, Bernal Heights, which has created a local currency to keep money flowing close to home. Here's how it works:
A software company, Clearbon, teamed up with their local credit union to issue a Visa debit card with the Bernal Bucks loyalty program baked in. It works the same way as racking up frequent flier miles, except in this case, when you spend at participating local businesses, you earn Bernal Bucks that can then be redeemed for goods and services.
The reason I'm posting this is because I've invited the co-founder of Clearbon, Guillaume Lebleu, to come to Beacon on Oct. 22 and talk to us about how they got this off the ground and how it's working out for their community. I'd love to use some Beacon Bucks. ;)
I hope some people from the Hudson Valley Credit Union and other local credit unions will attend and find out more info, so that we might also experiment with strengthening our local and regional economy. And anyone else who wants to learn more about local currencies, we'll have a panel of people discussing the systems they've implemented in their areas, so please join us!
If you'd like to register for the workshop, it'll be held at Beahive from 10:30 - 12:30, Saturday Oct. 22. Click here for more info and to sign up.
to learn more about Bernal Bucks, check out their website, and feel free to contact me with any other questions.