The Hudson Valley’s local currency system reached a major milestone recently: it is now in active beta testing with 20 business members and counting. Beta testers are learning to use the web-based transaction system, and actively beginning to trade on the platform.
The Current works by means of a mutual credit network. Each member is given a modest credit limit to start, and transactions are recorded in the secure online accounting system. For each sale, the seller receives a positive credit and the buyer a debit. The unit of exchange is the Current, which is defined as equal in value to a Dollar. Members set their prices, and account for sales, just as they would for Dollar transactions. Other than the equivalence of pricing, there is no other connection to the Dollar.
The system is starting in Ulster County, and we plan to expand first to Dutchess County, and then to the counties to the north and south. The Current is a local currency by plan, so it will always remain within the basic geographical area of the Hudson Valley.
The benefits of such a system are many. For members, the network represents both a new line of operational credit and a new set of marketing opportunities. The businesses that participate will naturally make new contacts and new clients through the membership of the network. For now, membership is limited to business to business transactions, but after the beta test we will add business to consumer transactions. We are actively working on point of sale solutions for retail.
For the community, this is a powerful tool to strengthen local businesses and deepen the connections that make for a vibrant local economy.
We have a few available spots as beta testers, and we especially would like to find a few Dutchess County businesses that would like to give this a try.
Some exciting and interesting trades were made in November. Check them out to see if they give you any ideas about how you can use the Current.
Featured November trades:
• The Mac Works purchased a variety of ceramics from Shoichi Satoh.
• CW Caretaking paid Corn Cow Inc. for a laminated hanging sign.
• Country Wisdom News hired Melissa Hewitt Designs to adjust an advertisement.
• Rinchen donated Currents to the community account that can be used in the future to benefit our community in some way.
• The Mac Works was hired for two different Mac consultations.
Visit www.hudsonvalleycurrent.org for more information. We would love to hear your questions, thoughts and ideas.