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Welcome to the Stroud Pound website.

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What are the benefits of a local currency?

Why do we need a local currency?

What's so good about spending locally?

What do you mean by money ' draining resources away from the area’ ?

I already shop locally.  Why should I join?

Why do I have to pay to join?

I lost out with the Stroud LETS scheme.  Can I lose money?

Where can I exchange Sterling into Stroud Pounds?

Where can I spend Stroud Pounds?

Why will the currency lose value after six months?

What about small change?

What about taxation?

Can the notes be forged?

Why is there a 5% redemption fee for traders?

How long has the Stroud Pound been going?

How long will the scheme last?

Is it legal tender?

Why buy apples from New Zealand when there are orchards in Gloucestershire?

 

What’s the point of the Stroud pound?

The Stroud local currency (‘Stroud Pounds’) is an initiative to support and stimulate the local economy.  It has been designed to benefit consumers, traders, businesses and local charities.   Lots more frequently asked questions about the Stroud pound are answered here.

 

District Councillor  Philip Booth has said:

 

            "The Stroud Pound is all about strengthening our local economy, building new relationships and making us think about how we spend our money.

 

            I love the reaction to people seeing the beautiful Stroud notes. It gets people talking. After all listening and conversing is part of how change happens.

 

            Stroud Pounds aren't the whole answer but are part of the shift that needs to happen to relocalise and build resilience for our future."

 

What are the benefits of a local currency?

 

A local currency serves the local economy and the common good by:

 

· Committing consumers into buying locally;

· Encouraging the development of local businesses and jobs;

· Stimulating the local circulation of goods and services;

· Assisting the local sourcing of goods helps to reduce CO2 emissions;

· Strengthening Stroud’s independent spirit;

· Preserving the area’s distinctive sense of place;

· Increasing the sale of local products;

· Providing a self help model of exchange;

· Challenging conventional ideas about money.     top

 

Why do we need a local currency?

 

The money we use for most of our transactions (Pounds Sterling) is tied into a system of global transactions and processes that do not serve people in Stroud particularly well.

 

A sizeable proportion of each pound spent goes to service debts in the global economy draining resources away from the area and reducing the viability of local services.

 

The current turbulence in the financial markets also suggests that global currencies may not be a secure basis upon which to organize our economic life.    top

 

What's so good about spending locally?

 

Many local businesses are in direct competition with national chains, the internet and large suburban shopping centres.  When 'big business' wins, another local shop closes or a small business goes bankrupt.  

  

What do you mean by money ' draining resources away from the area’ ?

 

Local businesses spend their money locally.  By contrast, money spent in, for example, Tesco leaves Stroud for Tesco HQ.  We want to keep money circulating within Stroud District - to the benefit of local people.    top

 

I already shop locally.  Why should I join?

 

If you already shop locally then come and join us.  We need your support!  When a community works together it can flourish, even in harsh times like a recession.   Supporting the local currency is one way that we can show commitment to each other and to a sustainable future.  It’s not about ‘me’, it’s about ‘us’.    top

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Why do I have to pay to join?

 

The scheme is run entirely by volunteers.  Transition Stroud and Stroud Town Council donated £500 each towards set-up costs but there are always ongoing costs of printing, postage, venue hire, promotion etc.

 

I lost out with the Stroud LETS scheme.  Can I lose money?

 

No.  Every Stroud Pound issued is recorded and backed by a Sterling Pound in a dedicated bank account.  To date, (November 2009) there are £3,612 Stroud Pounds in circulation and a matching £3,612 Sterling in a special Co-operative Bank savings account.     top

 

Where can I exchange Sterling into Stroud Pounds?

 

A list of exchange points is here.                                  top

 

Whre can I spend Stroud Pounds?

 

A list of paricipating traders is here.                        top

 

Why will the currency lose value after six months?

 

One of the most important ways to revive the economy is by increasing the amount of money in circulation. Having a date by which consumers must spend their money means that it is kept in circulation.

 

What about small change?

 

The notes can be purchased in four denominations (£1, £2, £5, £10). Where change of less than £1 is needed, sterling pennies are used.                top

 

What about taxation?

 

From a tax perspective, anything paid for in Stroud Pounds is accounted for in the same way as pounds.

 

Can the notes be forged?

 

The notes are printed on special paper with many security features including a watermark and ultra-violet reactive ink. This makes forgery difficult and too expensive to be worthwhile.            top

 

Why is there a 5% redemption fee for traders?

 

Ideally traders will use their Stroud Pounds to buy goods or services from other participating traders or pass them on as change to participating consumers.  If so, they will not need to redeem them at all.  In any case, only a certain amount of trade will be done in Stroud Pounds.

 

There are costs in setting up and running the scheme, e.g. printing vouchers, promotion, administration and advertising.   The organisers are not paid.   Of the 5% redemption fee, 3% goes towards local charities and only 2% towards the costs of running the scheme.                top

 

How long has the Stroud Pound been going?

 

There was a special launch in September 2009 to promote the currency and bring the first notes into circulation.  See here for a report on the launch.             top

 

How long will the scheme last?

 

Stroud Pound vouchers have a limited life of two years. After this replacement ones are issued. After a further year they can no longer be redeemed.

 

Local currency vouchers will have a limited life of two years. After this replacement ones will be issued. After a further 6 months they can no longer be redeemed.

 

New vouchers will be printed as required to fulfill demand but all notes in circulation will be backed by an equivalent amount of pounds sterling.       top

 

Is it legal tender?

 

The Stroud Pound is complementary currency, not an alternative currency and is not intended to replace Sterling. The money will be legal as a voucher but it is not legal tender.  This means that there is no obligation to accept it.        top

 

Why buy apples from New Zealand when there are orchards in Gloucestershire?

 

Good question.               top

FAQs General

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