Scout London tries not to involve itself too much in economics and the like, but we’ll make an exception and say it’s time you invested in the Brixton Pound (B£). This brilliant initiative, which sees Brixton running its own local currency alongside the everyday pound, is celebrating its second birthday.
The aim of the Brixton Pound is simple enough – to ensure that money spent in the community actually stays in the community. So, how does it work? You simply go into local shops acting as exchange points and swap your sterling for B£ (the rate is one to one), and then you are free to spend your money in any participating local or independent businesses. The B£ notes themselves have been specially designed for the job, and come complete with security holograms and feature famous Brixtonians (a nice touch).
This isn’t just some sort of marketing gimmick either as the B£ really does benefit everyone involved. For local independent traders that sign up, there is opportunity to gain new customers as their services are advertised on the B£ website, giving them profile and exposure that they might not otherwise get. For the customer, it isn’t just about getting a warm fuzzy feeling for helping a local business (although we’re sure this happens too). Local shops, delis, sports centres, tradesmen, cafes and even pubs offer discounted prices for customers paying with local currency. The scheme has also been given the official seal of approval with Lambeth Council not only supporting the scheme but actually accepting the B£ as a method of paying council tax.
Organisers aren’t sitting back on their laurels though, and Thursday 29 September saw the launch of the Brixton e-currency (B£e) that will allow participants to pay for products or services either online or by SMS. The launch event took place at The Electric (formerly The Fridge) and saw the unveiling of newly designed B£ notes.
If you’re a local trader who’s interested in signing up to the scheme or finding out more click here. Scout London eagerly awaits other London boroughs launching their own schemes.