This week FundingKnight are shouting out about another fantastic local enterprise and one that has been attracting international attention, the Bristol Pound.
Recently launched on 19 September 2012, Bristol Pound is a new local currency, yep that’s right, you guessed it, just for the city of Bristol. Bristol Pounds can be bought in the city and used at over 350 Bristol-based companies, which unbelievably, makes it the UK’s largest alternative to sterling.
The idea behind the currency is to get residents to invest their cash into local businesses rather than spending money with large multinational corporations, where money drifts all around the world, lining the pockets of businesses unbeknownst to you. By investing in and spending Bristol Pounds as you do your shopping, ordering things online or paying for meals out, you are keeping your cash in local pockets, boosting the neighbourhood economies and supporting those businesses who are part of the network.
Supporting the local marketplace means more independent traders are able to thrive as more money is spent locally. More independent business makes Bristol a better, more interesting and more creative place to live, which in turn improves the quality of life of the people that live there. What’s not to like?
Not only will residents be helping to grow their community but they can also invest sterling into Bristol Pounds and receive a 5% bonus (up to £100,000), not a bad deal when you think about the current offers available at your average high street bank.
The transactional process is easy. Members can spend Bristol Pounds in three ways: online, mobile and actual paper money. All methods are secure, easy to use and readily available to purchase at multiple locations in Bristol. Beautifully designed notes bearing local artists’ work feature a secure hologram, gold foil and laser-etched security numbers to prevent counterfeiting. The entire operation is backed and underwritten by Bristol Credit Union, a regulated financial institution and Bristol Pound is a not-for-profit organisation.
As a champion of all things local, community and sustainable, FundingKnight likes Bristol Pound a lot. It may be small change, but it can make a big difference.