Let’s Create Our Own Local Currency

What if there was a way to really stimulate the Buy Local economy and keep the dollars spent on Deer Isle circulating on Deer Isle? We think there is a way and several other towns and cities across America have successfully proven that it works. The method is  creating our own currency (ie: “Deer Bucks”) and offering an exchange rate to the US Dollar that acts as a favorable incentive to
local citizens, traveling tourists, and businesses to use the local currency.

Ithaca, NY  is doing it with “Ithaca Hours” (a currency that is tied to an hourly wage). The Bershires in Mass are doing it with “BerkShares”.
Baltimore, MD is doing it with “BNotes”.  Pittsboro, NC is doing it with “The Plenty”. There are many many more. These towns took control
of their fiscal destiny…and Deer Isle can, too! (In fact, in New Orleans the farmers market sponsors its own currency!)

I have assembled several links to information explaining what local currency is and how it helps strengthen the local economy.
I’ve put up a page on the internet so you can easily click thru to jump to other links for easy reading including a downloadable
PDF file of a study proving that local economies benefit by this type of project. PLEASE CONSULT WEBPAGE “THE DEER BUCKS PROJECT”:

You’ll find everything you need at the webpage to get yourself familiar with the idea. At the top of the list is the website of a leader
in this thinking, Paul Glover. Paul is available to speak on the subject and to give a workshop to our island on how to get this thing
off the ground. It would be ideal to get him up to Stonington to speak— the Opera House Arts would be the ideal venue—and perhaps
there is some grant money available to pay his travel costs and his honorarium? There is a “How To” book he’s written that is available
for $10 on his website that could also get us started.

The Deer Bucks Project has the potential to tie our community of artists, fisherman, businesses, tourists, and local citizens both year round and from
away together. We’d receive a massive amount of publicity (great for our island and surrounding region!) and this would attract
additional business.

My role is to raise awareness and handle publicity of the Deer Bucks Project and facilitate dispersing info. However, what’s
needed to go forward is some year round residents of Deer Isle to act as community organizers and/or an already existing entity
with the power to make this happen and to spearhead the project.

First step: who agrees this is a good idea and wants to pursue it further?

Second step: get the “How To” starter book copies into the right hands and

Third step: invite Paul Glover to speak (assuming sponsorship funding is available for this) to us

Fourth step: find a local bank or patron willing to back the Deer Bucks

Fifth step:  roll out the first printing and get businesses to sign up for a directory, get the publicity going and watch the results!

Thank you and happy new year! I apologize in advance if you receive this email more than once. I am sending it out to various
groups and individuals.
Sincerely,
Katy Allgeyer

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3 responses to “Let’s Create Our Own Local Currency

  1. katy….i like the local economy idea, but for my sales of goods from and to benefit the Guatemalan highland mayans, the Deer Isle Bucks wouldn’t work. All my profits go south.

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    • Nance, Thanks for your comment. Actually anyone who accepts Deer Bucks (ie: you) has the option of recirculating them into the community, OR cashing them in at the bank that ends up sponsoring them. Additionally, regular USD would still be accepted…but the incentive to use the Deer Bucks is that there would be a better exchange rate (ie: to be determined…some towns are doing 5% some 50%…it is entirely up to the group). Cheers! Katy

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  2. This just in: The Stonington Economic Development Committee heard the proposal for The Deer Bucks Project today and is coordinating with the Deer Isle Chamber of Commerce to start this thing rolling. The Chamber will take it from here. The SEDC will support the initiative and do whatever is needed to implement it. It will be a very good thing for the Stonington Farmers Market to also support. Here’s why:

    in a nutshell,With local currency in addition to the local residents, the tourists coming in from outside are attracted to our island by the notion of Deer Bucks and are encouraged
    to keep spending the Deer Bucks on our island. The Deer Bucks would be a higher rate of exchange (probably 95 Deer Bucks to $100USD) which would give a person spending them $5 extra bucks to spend at the farmers market or even the grocery store or a restaurant (whatever businesses are signed up to accept them—and if you read all the literature / links on my webpage you’ll see that even those businesses who didn’t get the concept at first signed up when they saw how successful the program is in their towns). The hope is that it would be accepted by lobster pounds, businesses, artists, tourists and the Deer Bucks usage would keep money spent on the island here on the island. (Most likely the project committee will decide to include and expanded region that includes Blue Hill Peninsula area in the Deer Bucks Project). Where does the extra $5 come from? It’s part of the subsidy from the bank/ grant money/sponsors of Deer Bucks once that is set up. It does NOT come out of the vendors pockets or the businesses that support the Deer Bucks. So getting behind Deer Bucks does NOT hurt any of us in any way. It only benefits us and the community.

    For a clearer understanding check out ALL the links to other communities that have succeeded with this plan at my website portal page:
    http://www.designacologist.com/Designacologist/DEER_BUCKS_PROJECT.html

    Thank you!

    Like

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