When the national currency is used the a shopper can spend their currency wherever they wish to take their business. Inevitably with the current make up of our high streets the majority of this spend is with multiple chain stores who have no base or relationship with our town apart from the opening of a store here.
Chain stores have been likened to money mining operations where for every £1 spent in a chain store on average only 15 pence remains in the local economy to be respent. In contrast, when spending at a local independently owned business the majority of the spend, after the payment of external suppliers, stays within the community.
A local currency takes this concept one step further; national currency is exchanged for a local currency unit and held on account to underwrite it. This currency is then tied to the local economy and the network of businesses who have signed up to trade in it. This wealth that is held to the local economy is then re-spent locally and provided that the velocity (Keeping the currency in circulation and being re-spent) is maintained a local multiplier effect is achieved.
A local currency is also a high profile and positive affirmation of the use of local independent business and avoids the negative “Save our shops” style campaigns.
Harborough would be in the vanguard of communities to undertake this but here is a list of some of the great and the good, including the early pioneer currencies such as Totnes and Stroud, who we will be learning from.