The PLENTY Currency Cooperative (PCC) promotes local commerce, environmental responsibility, self-reliance and neighborliness through the implementation and support of a local currency, the PLENTY (Piedmont Local EcoNomy Tender).
Here’s how it works: People have been using PLENTYs to buy goods and services in our neck of the woods since 2002. It’s completely legal; it’s taxed the same as dollars; it’s secure; and it is good for our local economy.
One of the measures of the health of an economy is its monetary “circulation.” That is, how many times a bill changes hands before it leaves town forever. Here’s an example:
Let’s say you spend a dollar with Chatham Wireless. That’s a local Internet service provider. They will use part of that dollar to pay their folks. They live here. Part of it may go to their bookkeeper. Part might go to an advertisement in our local media. They might use their money to get a massage, lunch at Angelina’s Kitchen, or dinner at the General Store Cafe. Part of that dollar might go to buy groceries at Chatham Marketplace which will then buy produce from the local farmer, who will then go buy some Internet access from Chatham Wireless.
The longer that dollar stays in our community, the more enriched we become.
You can call up another company to get internet access if you like or buy food from far away places. But there is a good chance that your dollar (or most of it) leaves our local economy immediately and doesn’t stick around to participate in our economic life together. The beauty of the PLENTY is that it never leaves our economy, because it can’t. It can only be used to support businesses in our region. So, a dollar spent locally is great but a PLENTY spent locally is even better!
The PLENTY is backed by trust. It’s actually the exact same thing backing Uncle Sam’s federal reserve notes. Better known as “U.S. Dollars.”
The only reason to accept a PLENTY is because you know what it is worth, and you are confident you can claim that value from it when you need it. Capital Bank in Pittsboro is offering exchange services at a 1 to 1 ratio. 1 PLENTY = 1 Federal Reserve Note.
Simple. Beautiful. Legal. Easy.
By running PLENTYs through your wallet, spending them with those merchants that accept them, you are doing your bit to keep our local economy strong. That said, the PLENTY is a supplemental currency, designed to be used alongside dollars. Unfortunately, not everything we need can be purchased from a PLENTY acceptor at the moment!
Emma Skurnick, illustrator, has given the PLENTY its unique look with images that honor some of the landmarks, wildlife and cultural attributes that are distinctive to the region. From the Chatham Rabbit to Sustainable Energy, Emma has captured the look and feel of the PLENTYs stomping grounds.
The new denominations make transactions at participating stores easy, they correspond directly with US dollars, $1=1P, $5=5P, etc.