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Alternative Monetary System Subtopics

Our Local Community Exchange System with local barter coupons

on Sunday, 01 July 2007. Posted in Alternative monetary system

Local currency is designed to support local businesses by providing purchasing power to residents that will be accepted by businesses. Local currency is spreading up across the country such as the Tamworth Hour, Calgary Dollars, and Ithaca Hour in New York, etc. The concept of local currency is not new, it is being used by thousands of groups, just like ours, all across the world.

When someone needs products or services, every new member will be provided with an emailed or printed directory that will list all participating members that accept Unity for goods and services. A private agreement between members is negotiated using any combination of Canadian currency and/or Unity resulting in real savings.

The most common form of community currency that we are familiar with is that of Canadian Tire coupons. Unfortunately, Canadian Tire coupons can only be used in Canadian Tire stores across Canada whereas local currency is meant to work in local stores and between local members.

Its benefits: Support Local Economy

This currency helps to rebuild the spirit of community. The community gets together and interacts on a more personal level. We become more familiar with our neighbors and discover what is available or offered with the community money making it a point of honor to seek out and support Unity members first.

Lowers the Cost of Living

Lowers the cost of living by encouraging spending on local goods and services. Every time a Unity is spent a Canadian dollar is saved which can be applied to bills that require Canadian dollars. So in effect more Canadian dollars are available at the end of the month thereby raising your buying power for other needs.

How do I find more/get involved?

We hold a meeting once or twice a month for people who wish to participate. Ask a friend or check our contact information for the date of our next meeting.

Our meetings are community spirited with the health and growth of local people and businesses. Our number one priority is using the vast pool of knowledge and skills that our members have to benefit the local community. We also have market fairs to sell and show our goods and services available for the community.

Key Points to Think About

1) Everyone is welcome to participate;

2) Trade is usually a combination of local and federal cash;

3) People can contribute a variety of different skills;

4) Community money stays within the community with the potential to strengthen the local economy;

5) Helps us look after one another by putting our community first.

Local Communities can issue their own barter coupons to answer the needs of their members. Even if a stock market crash that causes money to lose all of its value, the productive capacity of the community still exists. Why should the productive capacity of any community be paralyzed by the lack of money?

These local communities are establishing themselves all over the world. In Ontario, Canada for example, there are several small local community currencies being started called UNITY. Here we give you a summary of the objective of a local currency community.

To introduce a financial initiative that is able to reach without cost to every member of the community on a monthly basis with a currency that would support local business and trade. There are no membership fees or dues, so that everyone in the community is able to join, and everyone gets an amount of barter coupons every once in a while, according to the increase of goods and services available.

To establish a local money system, it is necessary to have several people in executive positions. A president, treasurers, a secretary, and two trustees.

You start by issuing a dividend of $100 of local currency to each member of the local barter system, we can use a card system to record all the transactions and account of the balances or we could use barter coupons.

To start with, local businesses can discount their prices by whatever percent that they need to compete with other businesses, then use the local currency to replace the discount.

Have a list of all the people in the local system, as well as their businesses where the local currency would be accepted as partial payment for the goods and/or services received. There can be a list of all the members, with their services offered, and their personal information such as telephone number and email where they can be reached.

The local currency that we have introduced is more like coupons, similar to those used by Canadian Tire for example. If advertising for the member businesses is printed on the back, and the local members are able to spread the cost of printing that way, it is relatively inexpensive to print the local "coupons".

When a new business joins the local community, and agrees to accept a portion of the local currency, there is a careful calculation made of how much of the Canadian (or US) money they need to cover costs that require Canadian currency so that it does not matter how much of the local currency they accept. They usually agree to accept 10% of the local currency to start with, and then as their clientele with local currency expands, they add a higher percentage.

This local currency builds up a wonderful community spirit, a loyalty among its members. The local currency system is a wonderful way to promote a clear idea that the importance of money is really only in it's relation to the needs that it meets, in regards to the goods and services that it facilitates.

There are more than 35 countries worldwide who have installed a local currency system in various communities, in all the NAFTA, G8 and EU countries. Also Switzerland, Japan, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Senegal, Mexico, El Salvador, Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Venezuela, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil have such systems. The governments of Mexico, Argentina, Australia and England actively support local community currency systems.

The promotion of a local currency is a wonderful way to start the implementation of a Social Credit system. The basic needs to each individual must be met, and according to the teachings of the Catholic Church's Social Doctrine; each person must by right of his natural heritage as a being created by God, be guaranteed the necessities of life in order to live with the dignity that befits a person created in the image and likeness of God.

Yvon Nantel

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