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Businesses supplying city council happy to be paid with Bristol Pound

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Written by:   | Posted 31-December-2014 8:57

One in five of Bristol City Council’s suppliers would be willing to be paid in local currency, the Bristol Pound.

The council worked with the Bristol Pound and Bristol Credit Union to survey whether suppliers would be happy to receive their payment in Bristol Pounds.

Of the 236 people who responded, 20 per cent said they would be interested in being paid, either in full or in part, in Bristol Pounds rather than sterling.

Eleven per cent of respondents already had active Bristol Pound accounts, and 30 per cent of those who responded said they would be interested in a Bristol Pound account, showing a step in the right direction for the businesses opinions toward the currency.

Jason Thorne, Bristol City Council economic development co-ordinator said the results of the survey show increased interest in the currency.

He said: “This survey demonstrates a growing interest from local businesses in the Bristol Pound.

“Bristol City Council is keen to deliver economic, social and environmental value through our spending.

“Evidence demonstrates that money spent with local businesses is more likely to be retained and re-spent within the local economy.

“We will work with our suppliers and give them the option of being paid into their electronic Bristol Pound accounts.”

The Bristol Pound has grown from strength to strength since it was introduced nearly three years ago.

There are currently more than 2,500 members who use the notes in 750 shops and businesses. Bus operator First accepts the notes on its buses and some firms offer their workers to take some or all of their wages in the currency.

Landscape Architects and Urban Designers 4D Landscape Design were the city’s first Professional Consultants to be paid by the council in Bristol Pounds, and the business said it was “very happy to accept them”.

The council also already accepts business rate payments in Bristol Pounds, making Bristol the country’s first local authority to accept council tax payments in a local currency. .

The organisation behind the scheme recently revealed that £528,000 of the local currency is now in use in the city in both electronic and note form, and more than 750 traders accept it.

The Bristol Pound also recently launched a competition for the design of its new notes in 2015. A competition will be held early in February to replace the existing £1, £5, £10 and £20 Bristol Pound notes with new designs.

Members of the public are being asked to think up unique designs for the city’s own currency. The competition is open everyone including school pupils.

The existing notes expire on September 30 next year and cannot be used for buying anything after that date.

The new notes will be introduced in June and people will have until December 30 – six months – to get their old notes exchanged. The winning designs will be chosen by a panel of judges in March.

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