Shopping in Portland with Bucks will pull customers out of the national big-box retailers and direct them into locally owned and operated Portland businesses. This PDX currency enables consumers to make well-defined choices in support of the local business community.
Bridgetown Bucks is not affiliated with any federal, state, or local government organization. This is not government-issued money, this is a local currency that will begin circulating in early 2013. Bridgetown Bucks do not replace national currency (USD).
The working definition of a currency is "an agreement within a community to use something as a medium of exchange".
These notes can be spent at participating locally owned Portland merchants or exchanged back into national currency anytime through identified locations around town. Each "Buck" has a value pegged to the U.S. dollar and participating merchants will always accept the notes at face value.
The wide use of a local currency, such as Bridgetown Bucks, can shift consumer buying patterns towards locally produced goods and help focus shoppers' preferences away from a more unpredictable global economy.
A locally owned business generally means that "working control" of the day-to-day business resides in the surrounding community and the assets of the business are owned by local residents.
In Oregon, local currency is nothing new. Since 1991, there have been 4 local HOUR currency systems started and to some degree all of these are still active.
Corvallis Hours Corvallis OR (since 2002)
Cascadia Hour Exchange Portland OR (since 1993-4)
RiverHOURS (since 2004)
Emerald Ecos Eugene OR
There is even a successful Portland Time bank http://pdx.timebanks.org/ and a new Local exchange trading system (LETS). http://pdxlets.com
In Portland and throughout Oregon there are also a number of local incentive programs and reward cards. These deals reward shoppers for patronizing "local businesses". Each of these programs has a different type of structure and several ways of rewarding customers.
Local programs include:
-Supportland Card "...a service that not only helps our lovely businesses, but also gives a boost to consumers."
-Choose Local Card "When you show the Choose Local card you are stating that you support locally owned businesses."
-Local Bonus Rewards "...use existing credit/debit cards to automatically earn cash-back rewards at local businesses."
-Viva la Local Rewards Card "...will save you money at hundreds of local business."
-Rely Local "...it is a community campaign to rebuild our local economy and strengthen our community!"
-Go Local Card (coming to Portland soon)
-Local Shop Rewards "...provides a way to strengthen our local economy."
Finally, there are mobile 'local shop coupon' applications for smart phones and local Oregon businesses
A primary goal of "HOUR" programs is economic empowerment. The before-mentioned local currency systems Corvallis Hours, Cascadia Hour Exchange, RiverHOURS, Emerald Ecos, Portland time bank, and even PDX Lets are all systems with a powerful social purpose, which is to match unused and underused resources with unmet needs. These systems utilize the extra time and skills of the local community and in turn provide for other locals' needs. It is well known that communities are vastly improved when unmet needs are matched with unused resources. Both the "HOUR" systems and the reward programs can contribute to the increased wealth and well being in a community.