Monday, May 30, 2011

Local Currencies: Localization Projects Taking Root

Community currencies seem to be on the upsurge as small towns and large cities recognize the value of supporting their local economies. There are numerous models including: BerkShares, Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS), and hours currency.

In Fairfax, California, Sustainable Fairfax, a non-profit, the local Chamber of Commerce and the Fairfax Town Council have gotten together to create a local currency, called Fairbuck. The Fairbuck token has a symbol of a buck on one side (part of the Seal of Fairfax) and a snail on the other (recognition of Fairfax becoming the second CittaSlow certified community in the country). It also has the inscription: "In community we trust." The FairBuck token has a $3 value and is accepted for goods and services by merchants in the Fairfax, California area. Due to launch next month, the Fairbuck is a great example of supporting the local economy by keeping the circulation of the coins locally.

Local currencies are spreading as more communities see the value of supporting their local economies. Some of the more well-known local currencies in the U.S. include: the BerkShares, in the Berkshire county of western Massachusetts, the Ithaca Hours in Ithaca, New York and the Plenty in North Carolina. In Europe, micro currencies are taking off in Germany and the concept perhaps will spread to Asia and Latin America.

For additional resources about local currencies, see: