Bay Bucks is a form of legal tender which will be honored by participating businesses in the region. Bill Palladino, regional director of the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center in Traverse City, says that starter kits are available for businesses interested in priming the Bay Bucks pump.
Palladino notes in a release that charter businesses, non-profits and governmental units that sign on will literally get a bang for their buck by receiving 50% extra Bay Bucks in exchange for U.S. dollars. “For instance if you joined at Business Level I, you‘d pay $40 and get $60 worth of Bay Bucks to spend, and a free ad in our directory,“ he states.
In most countries, that level of float on a currency would be considered anything but a confidence-builder. So what‘s the rationale for exchanging U.S. dollars, which are the strongest currency in the world against which all other foreign currencies are pegged?
Bay Bucks supporters say the idea is to support local businesses by keeping currency in the the region, specifically, “...to add wealth to the local economy, to support locally owned businesses, and to enhance economic sustainability and social justice.“
Among the participants are Oryana Food Coop, TART Trails, Cedar Market, Gary Howe Photography, Food for Thought and singer-songwriter Claudia Schmidt.
For more information on Bay Bucks, check out the Great Lakes Bioneers Conference which will be debuting the currency at Northwestern Michigan College this weekend. See www.glbconference or www.baybuck.org.