John Gerzema: Hyper-Local Legal Tender

John Gerzema: Hyper-Local Legal Tender
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In Western Massachusetts locals have created their own currency called Berkshares to help local retailers, restaurants and service people survive competition from national chains that were moving into small mountain towns.

John Gerzema
  • 22 november 2010

Tom levins, owner of Tom’s Toy’s and Berkshares currency supporter: Great Barrington, MA.

In Western Massachusetts locals have created their own currency called Berkshares (named after the Berkshire Mountains) to help local retailers, restaurants and service people survive competition from national chains that were moving into small mountain towns. Thirteen bank branches, along with many businesses in the community, agreed to exchange dollars (100 Berkshares can be bought for $95, offering shoppers a 5% discount). Local artists designed the Berkshares as elegant bills, in denominations from one to fifty. Each bill shows the figure of a famous person from the region such as Norman Rockwell, Herman Melville, W.E.B. DuBois.

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