The local stimulus plan

Independent currency systems promote local spending.

Communities across the country are implementing their own currencies in creative efforts to help small businesses and local consumers. HereâÄôs how the system works: A group of local companies will print money that they proceed to sell to consumers at a discounted rate but spend at full value with the participating businesses. In most cases, consumers can buy their local currency at 95 cents on the Dollar. Consumers can then buy a Dollar product for 95 cents at participating businesses. In Detroit, home to the Detroit Cheers currency, the unemployment rate is close to a staggering 22 percent, and local businesses are struggling. Billy West, a Detroit business owner told the Telegraph that the system works: âÄúI can get a good meal, I can get a beer, I can help another Detroit business. That is money to me.âÄù There are benefits for participating businesses, consumers and the community. For the business owner, local currencies encourage spending at their business. Consumers get a discount, and communities benefit from more consumer spending in their borders. The system is legal âÄî as long as the currency doesnâÄôt represent federal bills and as long as the currency isnâÄôt promoted as U.S. legal tender. For now, we see these currency systems as a product of the recession. But in an era of global economic downfall, itâÄôs good to see communities âÄî some of them hit hard âÄî encouraging self-reliance and innovation.