“The morning after the Brexit vote, I was sitting in Small Street Espresso feeling pretty bewildered. As I paid for my coffee with text to pay, it occurred to me (and gave me some comfort) that by using the Bristol Pound it was a way of bypassing national political craziness and keeping things small and local. Our currency makes both a local and collective statement. It made the day a little brighter (and still does each time I use the currency).” Nick Hand, Director of the Letterpress Collective CIC
Bristol folk, like Nick, have demonstrated their disillusionment with the status quo the last few weeks. But they weren’t rioting or protesting, or arguing or writing angry letters. No, they were buying their groceries, paying their energy bills and using text to pay to get a coffee.
How can that make a difference? Well, you may have heard of voting with your wallet – no? Well how about ‘putting your money where your mouth is’? When you spend regular old sterling you’re handing over the value of the goods and services, yes, but you’re also handing over an acceptance of the current status quo, you’re saying yes to more cloned high streets and tax havens. Nothing is stopping that sterling quickly making its way out of Bristol and off to do its dirty work who knows where.
Bristol Pound activity doubled the last week of July.
With Bristol Pounds, however, you hand over much more than the monetary value, you hand over your values – that you want to see Bristol businesses thrive, but also that you want your money kept out of tax havens and away from reckless banks. You want your money to stay in Bristol, work with Bristol. Suddenly, something as simple and everyday as spending money gives you back control. And that’s just what Bristol folk did with Bristol Pound activity doubling the week following the referendum.
So, if you’re overwhelmed or feeling powerless or had enough of talking and want to be the change you want to see in the world, go buy yourself a local coffee with text to pay, go pay your council tax through the Bristol Pound website, go grab a pint using the local notes and join the surge of other Bristol folk steering our city, our system, our leaders, and our world, in the right direction.