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Local Economy Action Plan 2008


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A plan of action for building a healthy local economy in Syracuse, NY. Presented in Dec 2008 by Jason Eaton and Kira Crawford.

Published in: Economy & Finance
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Local Economy Action Plan 2008

  1. 1. <ul><li>An Action Plan for Building a Living Economy in Syracuse </li></ul>
  2. 2. Local Matters 2008 <ul><li>Mission </li></ul><ul><li>Vision </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives </li></ul><ul><li>To build and maintain a sustainable, just, and efficient economy for the mutual benefit of our neighbors. </li></ul><ul><li>A healthy local living economy of the people, for the people and by the people. </li></ul><ul><li>Open Source, Group Collaboration, Systems Thinking, Financial Engineering and Whole Systems Design </li></ul><ul><li>Creating wealth in our community by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Aligning incentives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promoting local ownership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Building relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing the flow of information </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. TOOLS <ul><li>Business Associations </li></ul><ul><li>Local/Sound Currency </li></ul><ul><li>Community Ownership/Cooperative businesses </li></ul><ul><li>Slow Food/CSA/Sustainable Agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>Land Trusts & Real Estate Cooperatives </li></ul><ul><li>Circles/Neighborhood Stock Corporations/Exchanges </li></ul><ul><li>Community Databank </li></ul><ul><li>Bring it All Together </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Jargon, Lingo, Mumbo Jumbo and Other Important Concepts </li></ul>
  5. 5. Vocabulary & Framework <ul><li>This is OUR vision, not THE vision. </li></ul><ul><li>If you hear a term you don’t understand – ask now. </li></ul><ul><li>If you hear an idea you don’t agree with – listen with open ears. </li></ul><ul><li>If part of what you hear is compelling – hold on to it. </li></ul><ul><li>If part of what you hear is in conflict with your principals – adapt the idea to your principals. </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>“ A currency is only as strong as the confidence that people have in one another to produce something of value.” </li></ul><ul><li>Robert Swann and Susan Witt, February 1995 Local Currencies: Catalysts for Sustainable Regional Economies. E.F. Schumacher website: Retrieved Dec 17, 2008 </li></ul>
  7. 8. Features <ul><li>100% Voluntary Participation </li></ul><ul><li>Does not violate autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Does not risk proprietary/personal information </li></ul><ul><li>Exclusively by and for LOCAL businesses </li></ul><ul><li>Small (neighborhood) scale builds trust and relationships </li></ul>
  8. 9. Benefits <ul><li>For Producers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Economies of Scale </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Purchasing Power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage Redundancy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supply Chain Integration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Performance Feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer Loyalty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improved Profitability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competitive Pricing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Join Marketing/Branding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build Social/Financial Capital </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For Consumers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easily Identify Local Firms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improved Pricing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relevant Goods & Services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better Jobs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher Incomes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reputation Networking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhanced Real Estate Values </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced Travel </li></ul></ul>“ An opportunity for producers and consumers to sit down at the table and figure out how they can help one another.” -R. Steiner
  9. 10. Possible Outcomes <ul><li>Local Business Directory & Maps </li></ul><ul><li>Coupons, Gift Certificates, Currency Redeemable at Participating Firms </li></ul><ul><li>Joint Ad Campaigns </li></ul><ul><li>Rating/Review System </li></ul><ul><li>Online Store/Catalog </li></ul>
  10. 11. Examples <ul><li>Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) </li></ul><ul><li>American Independent Business Alliance (AIBA) </li></ul><ul><li>Greater Syracuse: Chamber of Commerce </li></ul><ul><li>Collingswood, NJ: Chamber of Commerce </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>What is money? </li></ul>
  12. 13. What Is Currency? <ul><li>cur⋅ren⋅cy </li></ul><ul><li>– noun, plural -cies. </li></ul><ul><li>1. something that is used as a medium of exchange; money. </li></ul><ul><li>2. general acceptance; prevalence; vogue. </li></ul><ul><li>3. a time or period during which something is widely accepted and circulated. </li></ul><ul><li>4. the fact or quality of being widely accepted and circulated from person to person. </li></ul><ul><li>5. circulation, as of coin. </li></ul><ul><li>currency. (n.d.). Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved December 18, 2008, from website: </li></ul>
  13. 14. Principles of Local Currency <ul><li>Represent a relationship between two people, a storing of value , or a medium of exchange </li></ul><ul><li>Currency has an inherent advantage over goods in that it isn’t perishable; this affects the distribution of wealth (R. Steiner) </li></ul><ul><li>Can be backed by hours, dollars, precious metals, goods, promises – or anything people will put faith in </li></ul><ul><li>Various currencies have been developed to address economic issues specific to an area and/or community </li></ul>
  14. 15. Types of Targeted Currencies <ul><li>Community –…supporting trade within a group of like-minded people… </li></ul><ul><li>Local – …support a small town or a neighborhood within a large city . ..punctuated by the strength of physical interaction and the chance … [to] cement communal bonds...these currencies can support ‘buy local’ programs that provide leverage against … big-box retailers . </li></ul><ul><li>Incentive / Loyalty – …often used by businesses to support return business and are issued based on buying activity. </li></ul><ul><li>Reputation – …non-tradeable currencies reflect a person’s standing within a particular community ...popular in large online communities like eBay, where there is a combination of interactions with near-strangers and some type of risk... These currencies incent good behavior and reduce the free-rider problem,…your actions (positive and negative) will be recorded. </li></ul><ul><li>Social Justice – used to right a particular social wrong . In the case of food stamps, they allow less fortunate people to afford food. Time-Dollars release latent skills in a community and incent members to exchange those skills, providing self-sufficiency in communities ... </li></ul><ul><li>Economic Development – These currencies are built to improve the flow of national currencies , often within a geographic region defined by a city, county, multi-county region or other large trading area. They are often (but not always) built in partnership with municipal or state governments, or multi-regions jurisdictions and councils of governments. </li></ul><ul><li>With Edits - Targeted currencies network, 2005. Retrieved from on Dec 17, 2008 </li></ul>
  15. 16. Who’s Got Your Back? <ul><li>Asset-backed/Hard Currency </li></ul><ul><li>Fiat/Soft Currency </li></ul><ul><li>Backed by a tangible tradable item for which the currency can be exchanged </li></ul><ul><li>Issuance is constrained by scarcity/effort </li></ul><ul><li>Reflects past productivity </li></ul><ul><li>Value is inherent </li></ul><ul><li>Is backed by a promise or threat </li></ul><ul><li>Issuance is potentially unlimited </li></ul><ul><li>Reflect future productivity </li></ul><ul><li>Value is tenuous, especially over long time periods </li></ul>
  16. 17. Examples <ul><li>Berkshares </li></ul><ul><li>Colls Cash </li></ul><ul><li>Ithaca Hours </li></ul><ul><li>Totnes Pound </li></ul><ul><li>Chamber Bucks </li></ul><ul><li>Burlington Bread </li></ul><ul><li>More: </li></ul>
  17. 18. Berkshares <ul><li>Backed by the federal dollars </li></ul><ul><li>10% discount </li></ul><ul><li>Who really benefits? </li></ul>
  18. 19. Colls Cash <ul><li>“ The campaign is designed to boost sales in the Borough and to increase support of local businesses while offering shoppers a big discount on everything in town …Several phase one customers mentioned they will buy holiday gifts, get orthodontics, remodel, dine out and buy more in Collingswood because they will be receiving such a discount.” </li></ul>
  19. 20. <ul><li>Que Bono: Who benefits? </li></ul>
  20. 21. Cooperative Businesses <ul><li>Cooperative Federal CU </li></ul><ul><li>South Side Food Coop </li></ul>
  21. 25. <ul><li>“ Who’s your farmer?” </li></ul><ul><li>- Catherine Austin Fitts </li></ul>
  22. 26. Slow Food in Our Place <ul><li>CNY CSA </li></ul><ul><li>Grindstone Farm </li></ul><ul><li>Wiley Fox Farm </li></ul><ul><li>Syracuse Grows </li></ul>
  23. 27. <ul><li>Who’s earth is it anyway? </li></ul>
  24. 28. Examples <ul><li>Jubilee Homes </li></ul><ul><li>Forest Row (Berkshires) Land Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Indian Line Farm (Berkshires) (1 st CSA in USA) </li></ul><ul><li>Champlain Housing Trust (Burlington VT) </li></ul>
  25. 29. Challenges <ul><li>Must show community benefit if tax exempt status </li></ul><ul><li>Housing: obtaining mortgages </li></ul>
  26. 30. <ul><li>Do you know 12 people you trust with your life? </li></ul>
  27. 31. Investment Circles <ul><li>Westcott Series 1 Circle 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Can we buy stock in a local organic farm? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we make money on it? </li></ul>
  28. 32. One Format – Many Reasons <ul><li>Book Club </li></ul><ul><li>Investment Club </li></ul><ul><li>Support Group </li></ul><ul><li>Rising Out of Poverty </li></ul><ul><li>Movie Club </li></ul>
  29. 33. <ul><li>Improving the flow of local goods, services, and information. </li></ul>
  30. 34. Taking the Community Public <ul><li>Overlaying a new social order on existing laws and customs </li></ul><ul><li>Using Wall Streets tools for communities </li></ul><ul><li>The Solari Stock Corporation </li></ul><ul><li>The A/B Share Model </li></ul><ul><li>Permanent local control </li></ul><ul><li>Creating local investment opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Establishing the needed flow of information </li></ul><ul><li>Total Economic Return (TER) </li></ul>
  31. 36. Community Databank
  32. 37. <ul><li>No one of these ideas will have a large transformative effect </li></ul>
  33. 38. Together They Re-Write the Rules <ul><li>Dudley Steer Iniative </li></ul><ul><li>Financial Permaculture </li></ul><ul><li>Associative Economies (R. Steiner) </li></ul><ul><li>Transition Towns </li></ul><ul><li>Mondragon </li></ul>
  34. 40. <ul><li>An Action Plan for Building a Living Economy in Syracuse </li></ul>