If your business accepts Bristol Pounds, this is the spot to look for resources and advice on how to make the most of our city's own money. We (you and us) are world-renowned for having created something very special here in Bristol. By having our own currency we are keeping money in the city, circulating around local, independent businesses.
It's like the old saying: what goes around, comes around. If your business uses Bristol Pounds, then there'll be more in circulation to come right back to you. If you use Pounds Sterling (even if you spend locally), then it will leak right out of the city and none of us will see it again.
Another trend that has been made very clear is that those businesses which embrace the Bristol Pound (with window stickers, mentions on websites, van vinyls and tweets), get the most through their tills. So, have a look at the options below and see what your business can do to make the most of the Bristol Pound.
Let your customers know you take Bristol Pounds
One of the ways your business can use Bristol Pounds is accept them from customers. There are a growing number of ethical customers and businesses who want to spend Bristol Pounds. You need to show that you're ready to take them.
1) Get Noticed - order new POS. Display your Bristol Pound window sticker and POS materials prominently and use our logo in your own promotional materials. Order the new 2017 POS here. For websites and apps, there is a selction of logos, graphics and posters here.
2) Go Digital - add Bristol Pounds as an online payment option. Add an option to get paid online in Bristol Pounds - read about using Bristol Pounds for ecommerce here and get in touch with email@example.com. We'll help set you up with the most appropriate way to get paid online.
4) Update your directory listing. You have a directory listing on bristolpound.org/directory. This is where customers, both members of the public and other businesses will see your business. They will be looking for where they can spend their Bristol Pounds. So make sure the contact info and description is up-to-date.
There is a login link under directory listings saying ‘[Is this you? Click here to edit this profile]’ which takes you to the page bristolpound.org/login-trader. The username is your email and you can reset your password on that same page.
5) Shout about it - use our Social media Tweet @BristolPound with your latest business news and get a retweet to our followers (over 16k of them). Share with our Facebook page and we'll spread the word about your business.
Be Bristol Pound ready
1) Staff training. Some businesses have high staff turnover, so be sure your staff know: what security features to look for, how to accept text payments and how to put Bristol Pounds through the till (normally they are treated just like Sterling, but some businesses choose to add a Bristol Pound button). Show staff this training video showing a Pay by Text transaction:
2) Be ready for text payments. Make sure your Pay by Text phone is charged and on hand. Some businesses that take infrequent text payments prefer not to use their own phone, but instead check their online Bristol Pound account or check the customer's phone.
Use your Bristol Pounds
1) Give change in Bristol Pounds. One great way to spend on cash you receive is to give it out again. Many people will take Bristol Pounds if offered it as change. You can order stickers which tell customers they can ask for change in Bristol Pounds also.
2) Bank your paper Bristol Pounds, so you can spend them on. You can deposit Bristol Pound paper notes that you take into your account by visiting your nearest ‘Cash Point Plus’. These are businesses that can credit your cash into your account. Currently there are five in the city: the Credit Union on Cheltenham Road; the Tourist Information Centre on the Harbourside; Compuwave Computers on North Street; Milliners’ Guild on Alma Vale Road; and The Tobacco Factory Café Bar on Raleigh Road. See the map.
3) Find suppliers that take Bristol Pounds. The directory is a useful tool for looking up local suppliers who take Bristol Pounds. We have cleaning companies, builders and electricians, delivery companies, printing and marketing firms, financial and legal, as well as a whole host of companies who do food, and more. If you need a hand just give us a call and we’ll help link you up with your specific business needs.
4) Make payments to your suppliers from your online banking. You can log in to your online banking through the bristolpound.org homepage, in the top right corner where it says ‘my account’.
Once you’re in, you can make a member payment to any other Bristol Pound business or user. These can be immediate one-off payments, payments scheduled for a future date or regular payments. The recipient will pay a 1% fee on the payment received, capped at 95p. The maximum value of online payments is £B2,500 per day to personal members and £B7,500 to business members.
5) As a last resort, exchange back to sterling.You can exchange to sterling from your online banking page, using the option in the left menu on the banking tab. Use the description box to nominate a bank account to transfer your deposit into, and be sure to provide the sort code, account number and account name. If the request is received before 15:30 Monday to Friday the transfer will be made on the same day, otherwise on the next working day. The funds are always converted and credited to the BCU share account first, then transferred on to the external bank account. If no bank details are provided in the description box then the funds will remain in the member’s share account until the BCU is contacted separately.
Please only use this function if you have exhausted any other possibility of spending on Bristol Pounds.
Create Bristol Pounds
Don't just wait for them to come in, create some yourself! The more Bristol Pounds there are out and about around Bristol the better. Bristol Pounds can only be spent in a local, independent business - your business. So, wherever possible, spend Bristol Pounds in place of sterling.
1) Work out where you're going to spend them: business rates, market rents, wages, suppliers, services. Search our directory here: bristolpound.org/directory for suppliers and if you need a hand just give us a call and we'll help link you up with your specific business needs.
2) Work out how much you will be spending in Bristol Pounds each month (eg. £B1100 on business rates + £B1450 wages + £B3500 on supplies + £B1500 on services = £B7550).
3) Top up your business banking account by standing order (eg. £B7550 a month). Here's a guide on topping up: bristolpound.org/howtopayin
4) Spend on those Bristol Pounds. Here's a guide to using your online account to make payments: bristolpound.org/regularpayments
And finally, get in touch. If you have any questions or problems, just drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0117 929 8642.