Bank of Stroud Open for Business
The Stroud pound is officially launched. Now begins the business of lengthy conversations over counters and cups of coffee to persuade the good people of this town why it really matters what kind of paper they use to exchange their goods with.
The launch went off very well, in spite of the numerous other exciting events in Stroud at the moment. The photo shows (left to right) Sharmila, Molly and Charley (bankers to the unwashed), with John Rhodes in his unreconstructed t-shirt, Pete North, local currency expert from Liverpool University, and Bernard Jarman.
Kathy Lee unveiled the most valuable note - a £10 in red themed with apples and with Laurie Lee as the figure head. I wonder if we will soon be lending each other Lauries when we buy each other pints. We have one pub that is on the verge of joining up and two others with keen interest.
The most exciting thing was taking the money into a local shop to see if it 'worked'. I headed for Walkers the Baker for a loaf of bread and an iced bun. The girl behind the counter didn't turn a hair, taking the new note as though she had been used to them all her life.
Those who support our transition to a resilient local economy are encouraged to talk to the shopkeepers they trade with regularly to encourage them to the join the scheme. Offering Stroud pounds or even just asking if they are accepted in the local shops is crucial to boosting the number of outlets and increasing the local money multiplier.