Community Currency

Definition of 'Community Currency'


A form of paper scrip issued at the county, town or community level for use at local participating businesses. The theory behind community currencies is to encourage spending at local businesses as opposed to chain or "big box" stores. Local residents can exchange dollars for community currencies at local bank branches that participate in the program, usually at a discount to encourage their use; for example, $0.90 buys $1 of community currency.

Business owners who accept community currencies may have to create separate accounting methods to deal with different taxation guidelines, but this is considered an acceptable tradeoff for increased business from local customers.

Investopedia explains 'Community Currency'


Most attempts at creating "local dollars" fall through because they fail to achieve a critical mass of issuance and acceptance by businesses. Their success is generally in their ability to gain widespread use - the towns that have run successful programs have hundreds of small businesses that agree to accept the currency. While business owners may lose money on some purchases due to currency discounts, they find that customers tend to give them more repeat business. The effect has been to save some companies from shutting their doors, and maybe even stall the growth of big box retailers such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy.

Studies have shown that communities who try this program are able to keep more money circulating in the local economy, whereas money spent at big box stores is much more likely to leave the area altogether. Community currencies, if run with strong leadership, can also instill a sense of community pride that further aids in supporting small business efforts.


Filed Under: ,

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Benchmark Bond

    A bond that provides a standard against which the performance of other bonds can be measured. Government bonds are almost always used as benchmark bonds. Also referred to as "benchmark issue" or "bellwether issue".
  2. Market Capitalization

    The total dollar market value of all of a company's outstanding shares. Market capitalization is calculated by multiplying a company's shares outstanding by the current market price of one share. The investment community uses this figure to determine a company's size, as opposed to sales or total asset figures.
  3. Oil Reserves

    An estimate of the amount of crude oil located in a particular economic region. Oil reserves must have the potential of being extracted under current technological constraints. For example, if oil pools are located at unattainable depths, they would not be considered part of the nation's reserves.
  4. Joint Venture - JV

    A business arrangement in which two or more parties agree to pool their resources for the purpose of accomplishing a specific task. This task can be a new project or any other business activity. In a joint venture (JV), each of the participants is responsible for profits, losses and costs associated with it.
  5. Aggregate Risk

    The exposure of a bank, financial institution, or any type of major investor to foreign exchange contracts - both spot and forward - from a single counterparty or client. Aggregate risk in forex may also be defined as the total exposure of an entity to changes or fluctuations in currency rates.
  6. Organic Growth

    The growth rate that a company can achieve by increasing output and enhancing sales. This excludes any profits or growth acquired from takeovers, acquisitions or mergers. Takeovers, acquisitions and mergers do not bring about profits generated within the company, and are therefore not considered organic.
Trading Center