Local Currencies

We didn’t make this idea up.

The silver circles you find in our film in 2019 were inspired by history as well as present day rebels. When the economy begins to hurt, people begin protecting their financial wellbeing. Some communities have even created their own currencies in order to combat inflation on the national dollar. Issuing an alternative currency is perfectly legal, as long as it is treated as taxable income and consists of paper bills rather than coins. That still doesn’t explain much in terms of the intrinsic value of money, but this locally based currency has sparked controversy and success throughout the country.

One example of local currencies is tucked away in a much less populated part of Massachusetts. (We should probably contact them and tell them about the movie). Here, way over 350 businesses participate in accepting and using BerkShares.  Time covered the local currency story last year:

Go to one of several banks there, hand a teller $95 and get back $100 worth of BerkShares, a nice little discount designed to reel in users. BerkShares are printed on special paper (by a local business, naturally–a subsidiary of Crane Paper Co., which has been printing U.S. greenbacks since 1879).

Other places around the country that support and accept locally based currencies are: Ithaca, VT, and Southern Maine, for instance. One of the things community members strive for is keeping the money in their town. Research showed that twice the amount of money stayed local after switching to this currency base, which is believed to improve the job market and business profits.

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