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Berkshares Local Currency

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400 Businesses Take Them

You can even go to the bank and get them! Berkshares - the local currency for the Berkshire region, in Massachusetts, which debuted in 2006. Over 400 businesses take them now. You get 100 Berkshares for $95 US dollars.

Creating incentive to spend your money in town, on local businesses, really does matter. It reverberates through the community.

Out of $100: if spent in a locally owned store, $40 will be spent again locally (advertising, accountants, managers etc). If spent in a national chain, only $13 will stay in the community.

From the Berkshares website:

BerkShares are a local currency for the Berkshire region of Massachusetts. Dubbed a "great economic experiment" by the New York Times, BerkShares are a tool for community empowerment, enabling merchants and consumers to plant the seeds for an alternative economic future for their communities. Launched in the fall of 2006, BerkShares had a robust initiation, with over one million BerkShares circulated in the first nine months and over 2.7 million to date. Currently, more than four hundred businesses have signed up to accept the currency. Five different banks have partnered with BerkShares, with a total of thirteen branch offices now serving as exchange stations. For BerkShares, this is only the beginning. Future plans could involve BerkShares checking accounts, electronic transfer of funds, ATM machines, and even a loan program to facilitate the creation of new, local businesses manufacturing more of the goods that are used locally."

--Bibi Farber

For more information see: