We have all seen the ads on the tube where local business leaders stand around and tell you that it is your duty to help the local economy during this time of crisis by shopping and buying locally.
But where is the incentive for the consumer to do so? They will go where they save a buck, not because some overpaid spokesperson is saying to to so.
Recently I read an article about the use of BerkShares, a currency printed by some local people in the Massachusetts area.
BerkShares are a local currency for the Berkshire region. Dubbed a “great economic experiment” by the New York Times, BerkShares are a tool for community empowerment, enabling merchants and consumers to plant the seeds for an alternative economic future for their communities. Launched in the fall of 2006, BerkShares had a robust initiation, with over one million BerkShares having been circulated in the first nine months and over two million to date. Currently, more than three hundred and fifty businesses have signed up to accept the currency. Five different banks have partnered with BerkShares, with a total of twelve branch offices now serving as exchange stations. For BerkShares, this is only the beginning. Future plans could involve BerkShare checking accounts, electronic transfer of funds, ATM machines, and even a loan program to facilitate the creation of new, local businesses manufacturing more of the goods that are used locally.
Click here for more information about BerkShares.
This is a better idea that needs exploring if these people are serious about shoppinmg and spending locally. This concept fulfills all the criteria of shopping locally and helping the establishments.
The problem is that Mississippi is never serious about the local thing….local business do not pay the political bills and buy few friends, real friends. Coastians need to give with their local reps and force these people to do something for the Coast and its people and businesses.
I am afraid that my writing is falling on blind eyes….but that is not unusual.