DEFINITION of 'Lewes Pound'
A local currency used in Lewes, East Sussex, United Kingdom. Only local businesses accept Lewes pounds, which are part of an initiative to encourage consumers to shop locally. Lewes pounds are also intended to help lower carbon emissions by reducing the quantity of goods that must be transported long distances for commerce in Lewes. Consumers can obtain Lewes pounds at designated issuing points and spend them with any local merchant that accepts them. Lewes pounds are paper bills that come in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 21.
BREAKING DOWN 'Lewes Pound'
One Lewes pound is worth one pound sterling. There is a 5% transaction fee (5 pence) associated with acquiring Lewes pounds. The 5% goes to the Live Lewes Fund, which supports local community organizations.
Because it is not intended to replace the pound sterling, but rather to function alongside it, the Lewes pound is considered a complementary currency. It is legal for merchants to transact in Lewes pounds, but the currency is not legal tender, so merchants do not have to accept it. Some merchants offer discounts to customers who pay with Lewes pounds.