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BerkShares, Inc.
Voucher Currency System

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Administrator Information
Name Chris Lindstrom
E-mail Address chris@berkshares.org
Position / Job Title Treasurer
First Language English
Organization Berkshares, Inc.
Organization Type Non-Government Organization (Registered)
URL Address www.berkshares.org
Currency System Information
Status Operating
Year the System was Started 2006
Community berkshires
City / Urban Area Great Barrington
Country United States
E-mail Address efssociety@smallisbeautiful.org
Medium of Exchange Notes / Bills
Unit of Value Units of National Currency Equivalent
Valuation Convertible for National Currency
Cost-Recovery Mechanism
  1. Charitable granting
  2. Have Not Decided Yet
Source of Funding External Funding
Purpose for Establishing System All reasons
Size of Membership 300
Population of Area Served by System 25,000
Estimated Yearly Operating Budget National Currency: 120,000 USD
Main Goods and Services Traded
  1. Food, Restaurants
  2. Copy shop
Additional Information

Launched September 29th, 2006. Recieved a $65,000 grant from a private donors circle. We have partnered with the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, and four local banks. The Chamber is a major promoter of the currency. The way the program works is that citizens exchange Dollars for Berkshares, 90 cents on the dollar. So you can go to any of the five participating bank branches and receive 100 Berkshares for 90 dollars. Berkshares can be spent amongst approximately (as of November of 2006) 180 local businesses. Our current program will last for a year in which the currency will be called in and then re-launched after a thorough look at the program and with any necessary changes.

Currently we are having issues with the 10% discount which is a bit too large for a few of the businesses, mainly food markets. Our conclusion around this is that when setting up a local currency one has to be thoroughly immersed in monitoring the type of business that joins. There must be three assessments made about that business which will prevent problems from occuring later on. 1) What is there trade volume? 2) what is their margin of profit? and 3) what percentage of their expenses is local or within the association of businesses and individuals who accept the currency?

Images Gallery
10 BerkShares - Back

10 BerkShares - Back

10 BerkShares - Front

10 BerkShares - Front

5 BerkShares - Back

5 BerkShares - Back

5 BerkShares - Front

5 BerkShares - Front

 
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