A local complementary currency, also known as a community currency, is a local currency that can be created and used in parallel with the national currency to transform and release a local community’s potential. A local complementary currency is therefore essential for furthering self-development and authentic living, as well for building community.

Did you know that many local complementary currencies are quietly being used to great effect, transforming people’s lives? Don’t you think this is important, and that we deserve to hear more about this? I suggest that turning to local complementary currencies would be a good way for grassroots people to respond to the European economic collapse and the tough austerity measures being imposed in many of the world’s countries.

Some good examples of local complementary currencies include:

  • The Totnes Pound in Devon, UK, running since 2007
  • The Brixton Pound in London, UK, running since 2009
  • The BerkShares scheme in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, running since 2007
  • The Equal Dollar in Philadelphia, running since 1995

Then there are the LETS and Timebanking schemes and the many variants of these ideas, running all around the world, which are easy to set up and do not require the printing of paper money.

A local complementary currency can either be market-based—like traditional currencies—or time-based—where everyone’s time is valued equally as they share their practcal help and support with others in their local community. The key principle is that the circulation of the complementary currency is kept within the local community, as a local currency.

Here are 8 good reasons for you to use a local complementary currency:

  1. It helps to stop our wealth and energy from being drained out of the local community into remote banks and head offices, increasing our vitality and wellbeing
  2. It ensures that money circuates locally, going to local people, local businesses, and local community regeneration
  3. It builds community spirit, support, and trust between people in the local community
  4. It promotes resilience in the local community, protecting it against the destructive instability of the global markets
  5. It reduces our ecological footprint by supporting local supply, local production, and accountability
  6. It makes us more mindful when we make purchases, and enhances our economic knowledge of the goods and services available so that we can make more authentic economic choices
  7. It promotes creativity, resourcefulness, and abundance in the local community, utilising and developing our skills, enthusiasm, and potential—even when austerity is called for in the national and global economies
  8. It is fully inclusive and healing to the local community, enabling people who would otherwise be marginalised or trapped in poverty and unemployment to integrate and contribute to the local community economy

That’s all for now! Let me know what you think and if you have any experience of setting up or using a local community currency, or would like to do so.

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