The Bristol Pound (£B) is... ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtGEby4ORGM&feature=plcp... http://www.bristolpound.org/... a local currency for Bristol City the circulation of which can bring a sequence of benefits. Itencourages more people to shop in the city’s independent traders which are so important to thevitality of the city. The traders benefit from increased custom and stronger customer loyalty. Thetraders are incentivised to source more goods and services from the city region which reduces thelength of supply chains and further strengthens the local economy. Gaps will be identified wheretraders cannot source what they need within Bristol, creating opportunities for new businesses to startup, making the city economy more resilient. All this takes place through collective action which buildssense of belonging and connectedness in the city.... honest money, made for Bristol. It keeps more money circulating in Bristol and out of the globalfinancial system. In the current climate of failure followed by scandal in the banking industry theBristol Pound is a positive alternative for the benefit of our community, not the bankers.... NOT legal tender. It is a voluntary scheme complementary to sterling. It is not intended to replacesterling but to stimulate a positive shift in the Bristol economy. Bristol Pounds are purchased forsterling and then circulate around participating people and traders. One £B has the same value asone pound sterling. th... launching on 19 September 2012!!... a not for profit community interest company. It has been developed almost entirely by volunteersover two years to put into place all the things we feel necessary to make the scheme a success:Secure electronic systems and printed £Bs – Electronic payments (by members of the schemeonly) are done using sms texts or the £B online banking platform making the Bristol Pounds verysimple and convenient. Cash transactions are possible using paper £Bs, available to everyone, in£B1,5,10 and 20 denominations. These are a tangible manifestation of Bristol’s own money.Bristol Credit Union (BCU) Partnership – BCU will hold all electronic £B accounts and will beresponsible for all aspects of the electronic systems including online banking and mobile phonepayments. Bristol Credit Union is essentially Bristol’s own local, cooperative and ethical bank. It isauthorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and all BCU accounts, including £Baccounts, are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. BCU does not invest infinancial markets but has a mission to promote the financial well-being of its members, particularly thefinancially disadvantaged. Every Bristol Pound in circulation is a pound which supports andstrengthens Bristol Credit Union and helps it achieve its social aims.Bristol City Council (BCC) Partnership - Businesses can pay business rates to BCC in BristolPounds via BCU. This is a huge step for local currencies as payment of taxes in a currency is crucialto perceptions of legitimacy, and it means that all rate paying businesses have a way of spending thecurrency. We also have a payroll scheme being promoted by BCC so that all of their staff membersare able to receive part of their salary paid in Bristol Pounds.
Marketing of traders and promotion to individuals – Through high brand awareness for £B wewant to effectively market our trader members to the public through social media channels and the £Bonline directory. Initially we are offering a 5% bonus on the first £100k paid into £B accounts, i.e.pay in £100 and receive £B105 to spend. Businesses will gain extra promotion by offering specialdiscounts and deals for £B users.The Big Challenge The Bristol Pound is for the good of Bristol and its people, but for it to be a success the people haveto embrace it and use it. We have received a lot of support from the green movement and communityorganisations in the city but we need to reach out and be adopted across the city. We currently have alist of approximately 1,000 signed up supporters. We want to quickly grow the number who openaccounts to 5,000. The population of Bristol is over 400,000. We want people to spread the word andencourage friends and businesses to sign up. Our aim is for the Bristol Pound to become normal, notmarginal. How do we get the message out clearly and concisely, across communities, that moves people to say “I get it! This is something for me, and this is something for my friends.” Challenge 1 – Telling the story The Bristol Pound is an unusual scheme. The idea of using a different type of money is unfamiliar tomost people and so the concept often takes a lot of explanation. But really the message is simple –use Bristol Pounds and make the city a better place.How can we make the story easy to understand in a way that relates to people directly? Can wegenerate stories from different perspectives (a child in school, an old person in Laurence Hill, a traderin Bedminster) that all convey the same simple message?Challenge 2 – Getting the message out there As a voluntary organisation we have limited resources until after the scheme has launched. Wecurrently have a well-viewed website, facebook page and active twitter account. Twitter followers isgrowing but not reaching out across the city as much as we would like. We have simple printmaterials (tri-fold leaflet and card flyer) which have been used to give information about what theBristol Pound is all about and encourage people to express an interest in becoming a member. Thelaunch of the Bristol Pound is now imminent and print materials need to reflect that.What channels and media can we use to effectively get the stories and messages out to the widerpublic? How can we increase the impact of online and print materials so people take the action tosign-up? How do we turn our existing supporters (approximately 1000) into active champions of theBristol Pound?
Challenge 3 – Making Bristol Pound businesses easy to find We have a searchable online business directory which lists businesses and shows locations onGoogle Maps. Businesses have access to the directory so they can upload information themselvesincluding images and special offers. We see this directory as the main use of the website post launchso people can find out where they can spend Bristol Pounds.We are also in discussions with Bristol City Council about the development of an open data directorywhich could be used by many organisations. This would mean that a business would only need toupdate their information once for it to be changed in many places.What can be done to the directory to make it a fun and dynamic marketplace where traders want to beand people want to visit? Can a mobile app be developed which adds to this experience and makesfinding the right business easy from any location?We will make an API available for developers to play around with and show what can be done...!Specific needs ... a graphic (or two) suitable for use on print materials which clearly communicates the basic principleof circulating local currency, i.e. Mike spends £B with Business A; Business A buys supplies fromBusiness B; Business B pays business rates to city council; council pays employee; employeespends. Needs to show how a local currency helps this to happen and why lots of people doing thisreally helps Bristol.... an animation for the website which expands on these graphics to give a richer explanation of thesebasic flows and the resulting benefits.