LWM are participating in a small working group keen to establish a Birmingham Pound, on a similar model to the Bristol Pound that has been so successful there.
Local Pounds are a powerful way of communicating how purchasing locally can generate more local income and keep money in the “real” economy that benefits local people. Local Pounds encourage people and organisations to think about where they spend, and make local spending visible. In other cities this has changed purchasing and procurement behaviour for the better.
The local pounds are exchangeable with sterling: for every local pound in circulation there’s a sterling one in a credit union’s account, making it risk-free to accept them. Local currencies can only be used with locally-owned businesses, which can trade with other local businesses.
A Birmingham Pound would capitalise on our city’s enormously rich history of beneficial local money, and diversity of trades and cultures. We want this to be a currency everyone in the city feels they can use.
As well as Localise WM, the group includes people from Citsave Credit Union, Impact Hub Birmingham, Equality West Midlands, academics specialising in financial law and regulation, and keen individuals who love the idea of doing something for Birmingham’s diversity. There are also members from parts of the Black Country: we’re all exploring the ideas together to see what scope there is for currencies across the conurbation.
We held a discussion event for small businesses on Small Business saturday at which nearly all participants said they would like to participate in a Birmingham Pound scheme.
To find out more:
Read our Birmingham Pound briefing
– Look out for #BhamPound on Twitter
and watch this space for further developments, and get in touch if you want to know more or to get involved.