Event: Introduction to ethical finance for businesses

Prospects Network - Bristol Pound

Bristol is a hotbed of alternative ways of doing things – that includes finance for small and medium size businesses. Bristol Pound members are coming together to hear how they can benefit from using the many ethical finance options available in the city – and you’re invited.

What: Introduction to Ethical Finance for Small & Medium Size Businesses
When: Wednesday 8 June, 10am – 1pm
Where: Tobacco Factory, Raleigh Rd, Bristol, BS3 1TF

Book your place now

Bristol Pound are working with the city’s sustainability champions, Go Green, for this morning workshop at the Tobacco Factory to help you join the dots between your company’s values and the financial services you use.

Speakers include:

Wren Aigaki-Lander - Within People
Alex Higgins - Triodos Bank
Steve Clarke - Bristol Pound
Vicki Woolley - Bristol Green Capital Partnership
Jack Farmer – LettUs Grow

The agenda

Enjoy a tasty, sustainably sourced breakfast with like-minded local businesses and learn how you can align ethical finance with your company’s purpose.

Hear how values are integral to decision making at Triodos Bank.

Find out how Bristol Pound’s new Prospects Network for SMEs can benefit you.

Get practical tips to help you identify the positive difference your company’s financial choices can make.

Investigate if crowdfunding could suit your business.

This is a great opportunity to complement your business’ ethos with your finances – and reap the benefits of doing so. Discounted places are available for Bristol Pound members but they’re limited so book now:

Book now

Together we’ll explore the unique opportunities Bristol businesses have to shape their world and grow their business by choosing from the ethical finance options the city has pioneered.

 

5 top festivals taking place in Bristol this summer

When it comes to festivals, the people of Bristol are pretty spoilt for choice. With a different one taking place almost every weekend over the summer, it’s a hard job to work out which are the best ones to go to – but thankfully we’re here to help. Here’s Bristol blogger BrizzleKezSays’ top pick of the 5 best festivals that are taking place in Bristol this summer.

Love Saves The Day

One of the city’s most popular music festivals returns for its fifth stint in Eastville Park this May. Combining the best of Bristol’s underground music scene and big-name acts such as Dizzee Rascal, Hot Chip and Everything Everything, if you love Dubstep and Electro then this is the festival for you. There is often some stall holders that accept Bristol Pounds too – great news for when you decide to tear yourself away from the music for a bite to eat! Taking place over the last May bank holiday (Saturday 28 and Sunday 29), tickets for the weekend and the Sunday are already sold out. However, if you fancy going there are still day tickets available for Saturday at £43.45 each including booking fee – but be quick, we’re sure they won’t be around for long!

Lets Rock Bristol

Another big-profile music festival to hit Bristol this summer is Lets Rock Bristol. This 80s-themed retro extravaganza promises to bring a sense of nostalgia to fans of the decade’s music. Taking place at Ashton Court from Friday 3 – Sunday 4 June, this year’s line up features Jason Donovan, Sinitta and Paul Young. Tickets are still available, with day tickets costing £49.50 each including booking fee.

Grillstock

If you love all things BBQ, then you need to get yourself to Grillstock, which takes over Bristol’s harbourside on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July. Described as “Meat, Music and Mayhem”, it’s fairly safe to say that this isn’t the festival for vegetarians and you should be able to use your Bristol Pounds to buy meaty treats from some of the stallholders too. Created by the team who run the city’s restaurant with the same name, think eating competitions, BBQ demonstrations, plus a great range of live music from bands such as Levellers and The Stranglers.  Day tickets cost £33 for Saturday or £24 for Sunday, or if you think you can handle it a weekend ticket costs £45.

Harbour Festival

One of the UK’s largest public festivals, Bristol’s Harbour Festival takes place from Friday 15 –  Sunday 17 July. Celebrating the city’s maritime history, this family-friendly festival has something for everyone – including food and drink, markets, live music and entertainment. One of the highlights of the festival is the fireworks that take place on the Saturday night, when the whole harbourside area comes alive with a fantastic display. But best of all, the festival is working in partnership with Bristol Pound to make it a truly local experience – so if you have Bristol Pounds then this will be the perfect opportunity for you to spend them, with Bristol Pound cash points located across the festival site.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Bristol’s famous International Balloon Fiesta hits Ashton Court from Thursday 11 – Sunday 14 August. A proper Bristol institution, this festival is now in its 39th year. The free event includes mass balloon ascents over four days, a fairground, food stalls, live entertainment in the main arena and promises a load of fun for the whole family.  The highlight of the event is the night glows which take place on the Thursday and Saturday night – the sight of seeing the balloons light up in time to music is a must see in my opinion!

Keri Beckingham is a lifestyle blogger, a proud Bristolian and freelance writer who loves shopping/gigs/cooking/meals out/a good read/all things vintage. You can read her blog BrizzleKezSays here.

Are you paying for your council tax in Bristol Pounds yet?

If, like me, you’re someone with many good intentions, always making lists of things you want to improve – signing up to a greener energy company, finding a better way than supermarkets to shop, getting round to paying for council tax in Bristol Pounds – I say shut down this screen right now and get to it. Pay your council tax and business rates with Bristol Pounds.My favourite quote about procrastination is Picasso’s “only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone”. OK, this is admittedly a little heavy for simply changing your buying habits. But when something really matters, and for me, supporting the local community and the people in it deeply matters, I think you’ve got to seize the moment to make those lifestyle changes you’ve been thinking about for so long.

Paying for my council tax in Bristol Pounds has been on my to-do list since it was announced that you can pay this way. A quick Google search makes me realise that that was more than a year ago. It was only when the latest bill came through in March that I thought it’s time I get this sorted. What’s fiddly about the process is that the first council tax bill is a slightly different amount, so setting up the regular payments is a little clunky. But so worth it. I’m sure the more people use this system the more streamlined it’ll become though.

Now that a healthy amount of cash is going into my Bristol Pound account each month, I’m paying for more stuff in Bristol Pounds. On the way back from a meeting in Whiteladies Road, I had a quick search to find vendors accepting Bristol Pound. My first try wasn’t successful – I popped into the RWA gift shop to try to buy some greeting cards, but was told their text-to-pay wasn’t currently working. Hey ho. Instead I visited Park St Local newsagents and came out with the guilty pleasure of a Grazia mag. Park Street, Bristol Later on in the week I paid for my lunch at Bagel Boy by text message and, on another day, coffee out. Easy. Even if I did have to explain what Bristol Pounds are on occasion (and a manager had to come and assure the shop assistant), once you’re set up to text from the app and everyone knows what they’re doing, the process of paying is much quicker than using a bank card.

So anyone in Bristol without a Bristol Pound account – and anyone with an account lying dormant – I urge you not to kick the bucket leaving it undone. Get an account by signing up online or pop into the Bristol Credit Union office on Cheltenham Rd as soon as you can, then crack on with sorting the council tax too. Once it’s done it’s done.

Ramona Andrews is a food writer and digital content producer who has written for the BBC, Time Out, Channel 4 and many more.

Sign up for a Bristol Pound account here and find out how to pay your council tax here.

Park Street image courtesy of Rept0n1x

A food shop just using Bristol Pounds?

Last week I challenged myself as a newbie to Bristol, to do a food shop using JUST Bristol Pounds.

Shopping with Bristol Pounds

This ‘city specific’ currency is wholly new to me and I find it fascinating. What I wanted to know was whether the Bristol Pound is a thing designed to appeal to tourists or whether real Bristolians are using it for every day purchases. After all, if they are – this is a good thing – because more of the Bristol Pound goes back into Bristol than the standard pound, thus, its supporting the local economy in a more effective manner.

I headed down to the Tourist Information Centre last week to purchase my pounds – all very easy – it was a straight swap, cash for cash. I asked the lady behind the counter who she’s selling them to. She told me that they sell a lot of them to all sorts of people including lots of locals and definitely not just to tourists (despite there being a Japanese couple behind me in the queue who told me they were buying them as a souvenir).

Shopping with Bristol Pounds

Anyway, with my directory in hand, I headed out to buy some food. It was a small achievable list which was mainly vegetables with a few rogue items (chipotle chilli and tortillas) which I needed for a recipe I’m working on.

I spent a couple of hours walking from town up to and along Gloucester Road and as I went along, I was really impressed to see just how many places accept the Bristol Pound either in cash or text message form with big clear window stickers announcing that they accept the currency. I found that on Gloucester Road alone, there were numerous places – greengrocers, cafes, delis and international shops – where I could shop.

My favourite though, was back towards town. Bear Fruit, a pop up grocers in the Bear Pit and very convenient for home. I spent some time talking to the guy there, explained what I was doing and why. He loved it and told me how great he thinks the £B is. I picked up almost everything I needed that day with just a few items I had to resort to else where for.

Shopping with Bristol Pounds

My experience was wholly positive – it sparked conversations and made me feel part of the community. I’ll definitely use Bristol Pounds again. They help the community and give you a sense of belonging which is greatly appreciated by me, a newbie to this great foodie city!

So thank you to the Bristol Good Food Diaries and Bristol Food Connections for welcoming me in and giving me the idea for this challenge! Nailed it!

Alex Ryder is a food writer and blogger who has recently moved to Bristol. You can read more of her adventures in food here: http://www.gingeybites.com/.

 

How sharing can help Bristol

A special speaker is coming to Bristol tomorrow to discuss how sharing can help cities progress.

Julian Agyeman

Professor Julian Agyeman is the co-author of the book “Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities” - in which he explores how sharing offers cities the opportunity to connect smart technology to justice, solidarity and sustainability.

He will be joining Bristol’s Friends of the Earth group to discuss these innovative ideas and to see how Bristol can make the most of them.

Sharing Cities – a Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities
When: Tuesday 10 May from 7.30pm to 9.15pm
Where: Watershed Cinema, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5TX
Book now: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sharing-cities-a-case-for-truly-smart-and-sustainable-cities-tickets-24785074826

Julian brings a wealth of examples from every continent to show how innovations in sharing are working in practice to make cities fairer and more sustainable places – that includes the Bristol Pound.

So come prepared to listen, learn and engage about the potential of the sharing economy across our city.

Spaces are limited so please book your place now.

 

 

Listen again: Bristol Mayor candidates on local economy and sustainability

Candidates for the job of Mayor of Bristol were at the Arnolfini on the Harbourside last week to answer questions from over 200 residents and businesses.

Bristol mayor hustings panel

Listen again to the two hour debate with Ujima Radio’s podcast:
http://www.ujimaradio.com/2016/04/mayoral-candidates-answer-questions/ 

The sold-out event was organised by the Bristol Pound with Bristol Green Capital Partnership CIC, Bristol Cycling Campaign, Friends of the Earth and Sustrans. BBC Radio Bristol presenter Laura Rawlings chaired the debate with candidates George Ferguson (Independent), Kay Barnard (Liberal Democrat), Tony Dyer (Green Party) and Marvin Rees (Labour Party) in attendance.

The local economy section was kicked off with the question:

The council spends over £350 million of public money each year and lots of it is spent with businesses outside Bristol, including large multi-nationals. What practical steps will you take to increase the amount of money staying in Bristol?

Tony Dyer pointed out the increasing problem with tax havens, but offered his solution: “We have a big problem with tax avoidance and lots of money going overseas – however none of them accept Bristol Pounds. If you are spending your money with Bristol Pound, you are stopping tax avoidance and bringing money back into our local economy.”

George Ferguson believes in the benefits of using Bristol Pounds and encourages the audience to invest themselves and spend across the city: “I want to see Bristol Pounds become more available across institutions and businesses to use across the city, whether it be paying for a council tax bill, energy bill or your bus fare.”

Marvin Rees stated Bristol is one of the more prosperous city’s in the country, yet the gap between the rich and poor is growing: “People are feeling excluded. To drive a good economy, we need to equip young people for work. There are practical things we can do; plan ahead, have apprenticeships in place, skills pipeline in place and of course, pay the living wage.”

Kay Barnard, also in favour of more apprenticeships in local businesses to address social exclusion. “One of the main problems is smaller, local business are excluded from local procurement in favour of big, national companies.”

Read more from the hustings:
http://bristolgreencapital.org/what-bristols-mayoral-candidates-had-to-say-at-our-sustainability-themed-hustings/

Bristol Pound on film – UWE students’ documentary on local currency

Five students from the city’s UWE university have made a short film telling the story of the Bristol Pound and how it’s had an impact on local businesses.

The film is a project by students Mei Davidson, Beth Miskin-Garside, Eve Dolman-Bowles, Megan Grindle and Nathalie Kupper Mccarrick who are all studying Graphic Design at UWE.

They were asked to create a short documentary on the stories that exist within Bristol that connect to a wider political, social and cultural context.

Mei Davidson said: “We decided to focus on the Bristol Pound because we thought that this was something very important to Bristol and is a response to the wider economical situation. Also, as a group of students who have lived elsewhere for most our lives, we knew very little about the Bristol Pound so it was an exciting opportunity for us to learn about it and talk to people in the community about it.”

The students’ film is being screened at the Watershed on the Harbourside at 11am on Wednesday 27 April.

 

Missed out on a ticket for #BrisFuturesMayor debate? Listen live on Ujima radio

Candidates for Bristol’s top job will be answering questions from city residents at a sustainability-themed debate tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Arnolfini gallery.

Bristol Mayoral Election 2016 ballot box

Over 200 people have got a ticket for the *sold out* event but you can listen to the whole thing live on Ujima radio from 7pm.

You can also join the debate on Twitter using the hashtag #BrisFuturesMayor. Questions from twitter will be taken on the night, so you can grill the candidates from wherever you are.

The ‘hustings’ event has been organised by Bristol Pound, Bristol Green Capital Partnership CIC, Bristol Cycling Campaign, Friends of the Earth and Sustrans.

Ciaran Mundy, CEO of Bristol Pound, said

“It’s important the Mayor of Bristol takes the city’s environment and local economy seriously. This event is the perfect opportunity for the candidates to tell us their ideas for how Bristol will become a sustainable city for the future.”

The event will give the people of Bristol a chance to hear the candidates’ plans for creating a low carbon and sustainable future for the city. Questions will be taken from the audience, in advance and on the night, on the four key themes of sustainable transport & active travel, energy & climate change, local economy and the Bristol Green Capital Partnership vision of a low carbon city with a high quality of life for all.

BBC Radio Bristol presenter Laura Rawlings will chair the debate with candidates George Ferguson (Bristol 1st), Kay Barnard (Liberal Democrat), Tony Dyer (Green) and Marvin Rees (Labour).

Free marketing for growth workshop for Bristol Pound business members

The Bristol Pound team are excited to bring a Get Set for Growth workshop to Bristol Pound business members.

Get Set for Growth - Bristol Pound business event

Get Set for Bristol – Marketing for Growth
When: 10th May 2016, 9.15 – 11.45am
Where: Folk House, 40a Park St, Bristol, BS1 5JG
Book now: http://getsetforbristol.eventbrite.com 

We speak to our network of over 800 local, independent businesses every day and we know that competing with the marketing budgets of large businesses can be a tall ask. Get Set for Growth’s expert team will deliver a practical and insightful workshop to help you market and grow your business.

This is a Bristol Pound members-only event so it will be an excellent opportunity to mingle with other like-minded businesses, share challenges and create opportunities.

What’s planned on the day

9.15 Registration, refreshments and networking
9.45 Introductions and welcomes – Emily Hazell, Partnership Manager, Bristol Pound
10.00 Growing your Local Business – Fiona Fraser, Marketing Advisor, Get Set for Growth
Covering:
Introducing Get Set for Growth
Marketing for Growth
Break out group & discussion
11.30 Q&A and feedback
11.45 End and networking

Book your place now:
http://getsetforbristol.eventbrite.com

About Get Set for Growth

Get Set for Growth is a specialist service offering funded marketing and finance expertise to ambitious businesses with the potential to grow, thanks to the Regional Growth Fund. Growing your business requires money and customers: Get Set for Growth is a unique service that helps you get both through a combination of finance and marketing expertise. The West of England team have been live in Bristol for just over 6 months and have recently celebrated the enrolment of their 200th client.

Want a stall at Bristol Harbour Festival?

Bristol’s largest free festival, Bristol Harbour Festival, returns to the waterside on 15-17 July and this year they’re working with the Bristol Pound to keep it local.

Over one mile of vessels, food markets, circus acts, live music and performers will be on Bristol’s waterways for the festival which attracted a quarter of million people in 2015.

Applications for traders at the event are currently open – but only until the 22 April.

Click here to download the application forms:
http://bristolharbourfestival.co.uk/contact-us/ 

Chloe Hood, Event Manager, said:

“Bristol Harbour Festival is excited to have Bristol Pound involved this year and we would love to keep things local. If you are interested in having a stand at the show, whether you’re a market trader, caterer or business wanting to showcase your company, we’d love to hear from you.”

Bristol Harbour Festival will be encouraging the use of the Bristol Pound with all Bristol traders this year and cashpoint locations will be easy to spot in the official programme.