Thursday, January 19, 2012

Greensboro Banks on New Currency


From: Greensboro Currency Project
Date: January 18, 2012
Contacts: Signe Waller Foxworth, Greensboro Currency Project Facilitator, 336-379-7342
Bonnie Ross, Bank of Oak Ridge Marketing Director, 336-662-484

Plans for Local Currency Move Forward with New Community Partnership

The Greensboro Currency Project is pleased to announce the signing of an Exchange Services Agreement with Bank of Oak Ridge. The signing of the agreement will take place on Wednesday, January 25, 2012, at 10:00 AM, at the bank's Lake Jeannette branch at 400 Pisgah Church Road in Greensboro. The bank will provide banking services to support the creation and circulation of a local currency. This community partnership marks an important advance toward printing and circulating a complementary currency to boost small and medium size businesses in Greensboro and to foster economic resilience in the Greensboro area.

Recently incorporated as a North Carolina nonprofit corporation, the Greensboro Currency Project is one of over 200 alternative currency projects in the United States. Since 2009 community members have come together in Greensboro to discuss alternative means of economic exchange. Project facilitators Signe and Bob Foxworth point out that high unemployment and underemployment, consumer and student debt, the rising costs of goods and services, among other economic realities, have left many people without enough money to meet their basic needs. A complementary currency can potentially expand the available options and promote economic equity and empowerment for poor and struggling communities.

A main goal of the Greensboro Currency Project's efforts is to help local businesses thrive. Most federal reserve notes, or dollars, leave the area and end up at out-of-town corporate headquarters. The complementary currency, on the other hand, will remain in the Greensboro area, recirculate and stimulate commercial transactions. Money that is issued and controlled locally has the potential to alleviate poverty and unemployment.

In July 2011 the project began building a Network of Trading Partners. A trading partner is a company, business, merchant, tradesperson, organization, professional or individual with goods or services to offer in trade and a willingness to accept local currency as full or partial payment and to recirculate the currency. A modest annual fee of $100 covers administrative costs and includes online and print advertising for trading partners. A deposit of an additional $100 will be returned in the equivalent amount of local money.

A minimum of fifty trading partners (the Founding Fifty) was set as prerequisite to launch the project. Members view fifty as a “critical mass” helping to ensure that the network's size and diversity make trading in the complementary currency practical.

To indicate its full support of the project, Bank of Oak Ridge became one of the founding fifty trading partners last July. “We stand deeply rooted in the communities we serve,” said Tom Wayne, the bank's CFO. The bank's commitment to encourage local commerce and increase economic opportunities for local residents, including those with low and moderate incomes, accords with the goals of the project.

Plans are underway to print and circulate the currency this Spring. The Greensboro Currency Project is reaching out to the community to participate in naming and designing the local currency which, initially, will be set in parity with the dollar. This exchange rate, as well as all other matters, will be subject to frequent review by the trading partners as part of a democratic process to be followed in all decision-making.

For more information about becoming a Founding Fifty Trading Partner, visit or send an email to .

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