Well, haven’t you lot been busy. We’ve seen £18,736 of sterling converted into Bristol Pounds over the past two weeks! We’re more than on track to hit our target in the Go Local! Challenge, which is to convert £25,000 into £B25,000. Last Christmas we managed to convert over £30K, and with Summer being a famously quiet period for retailers, it’s very exciting news.
The Go Local! Challenge was launched on the day of the BIG Green Market – a fantastic day for local traders, and a lot of fun for the £B team. We were out in force talking to the public about the Bristol Pound scheme, recruiting new members and swapping sterling for Bristol Pounds. Our little stall managed to convert over £1,000 to £Bs on the day, so we were chuffed to start the challenge on such a high!
To give you that little extra push with your challenge, we’ve been running the ‘30 Treats in 30 Tweets’ campaign. We hope that this will help you to spend your £Bs on some of the delicious products which are made by local businesses. We think you’re going to fall in love with some them, just like we have. Click here to have a gander at what we’ve been tweeting so far. There has been great support for this on Twitter, so keep it up!
The Go Local! Challenge is here to turbo-charge the people of Bristol to discover and connect with the huge number of local independent business in our great city. By using Bristol Pounds with a local independent trader, your money is likely to recirculate throughout the local economy five or more times rather than leaking out through national or international supply chains. This means that every £B spent will have a much bigger, positive impact on the local economy, even more so than if you were to shop local with sterling.
The Bristol Pound scheme is also helping to instill a greater sense of community across the city. This came through clearly in research conducted by the University of Brunel, and is affirmed anecdotally by Mark Rind, owner of Cafe Revival: ‘I often use the £B to meet and trade with other businesses who use the currency. What’s more, regular customers and tourists can see the sign on the door and know “this place is truly Bristolian!”.’ Owner of Guy Fawkes Hair and Beauty, Lyn Andres, added, ‘the Bristol Pound is such a great tool for connecting local businesses and the people who are in Bristol that want to support these independent traders. That’s why I offer a 15% discount when people spend in £Bs in my salon – I want to reward them!’.
As you’ll hopefully be aware, it’s Bristol Independents Day on July 4th. Across the UK, and especially in Bristol, independent businesses will be encouraging you to shop locally by offering special treats and discounts. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed or the Bristol Independents website for a full listing – many of the offers are available exclusively to Bristol Pound spenders!
So there you have it, 2014 is shaping up to be Bristol’s very own Summer of Local Love! Help us to smash the Go Local! Challenge, and keep in touch with us via our Facebook and Twitter to let us know how you’re getting on. Use the hashtag #GoLocalChallenge and say hello on Twitter: @BristolPound – we love recommending places to spend £Bs!
Happy spending with those £Bs!
The Bristol Pound Team