A cheerful e-message came in March from Brendan Maher:
We are printing our own currency called the Oliver and having our launch party on the 21st March. This is a joint venture between Bath LETScheme and Transition Bath, you con find out more here: www.bathlets.org.uk and www.transitionbath.org
We already have 20 businesses signed up to accept the new currency, from home furnishings, to clothes, food, computer supplies and therapies as well as a local pub!
This was excellent news. Such schemes are greatly enhanced if a range of businesses and individuals become members.
A local councillor wrote:
“The idea is to get more local currency exchange staying in the local economy and also to enable people to sell and share skills and services. Already several local businesses have signed up to taking Olivers. Indeed the Bell in Walcot street has agreed to take 100% Olivers when buying drinks in the pub.”
Angela Ladd, chairman of Bath’s Small Business Focus group – said:
“Anything that encourages localism is great and I would like to see the whole community joining in on it. “I think it’s absolutely great and hope we will be seeing more about it.”
Participating businesses include a green stationery company, a pub, a printing press, wood floor cleaner, deli, café, curtain fittings, books, greengrocers, printer ink and computer consumables, second-hand & antique furniture, clothes and accessories, Mediterranean tapas, cheeses, chutneys and preserves, website design and a fruit & veg box scheme.
On the left: a picture taken at the launch of the Bath Oliver.
The alternative currency is already working well in Devon where the Totnes pound has increased customers for around 70 companies in the area who accept this as payment.
See also the Stroud pound here.
I love the idea of this, waiting for someone to come up with the Shropshire Shilling.