At the First Tuesday event on 1st November 2011 members of the local community came together to discuss the issues facing the local economy and what could be achieved by developing a community currency. Could a Tooting Pound become a reality? With one of highest levels of independent small businesses in the country, people like Tooting’s quirky feeling of energy, which we would not want to lose in favour of tidiness or an influx of chain stores.
Encouragingly the group felt that a community currency might help facilitate connections in the local economy, while also boosting the sense of community, causing people to explore new places to shop. Perhaps the successful night time economy could help drive the daytime economy and maybe the currency would enable small businesses to feel connected, resilient, and therefore stronger together.
Thanks to Alex from TT Brixton who gave us a fascinating account of their experience of developing, implementing and maintaining the Brixton pound, to Chuck for bringing his money facts and extensive collection of bank notes from round the world and to Tim for running the evening and continuing to champion the concept.
We are definitely encouraged to put more time into developing a community currency with the caveat that ultimately the success or failure of the project rests with local people and businesses who might use it. It is obvious that if people in our community feel important, valued and included in the project, then the currency is more likely to succeed. After all is said and done, it will become their money!