Adirondack Cooperative Economy

We are a new community of concerned citizens and businesses that wants not only to boost our economy but bring about a shift in our attitude towards money.

ACE Meeting June 27 – Report ready!

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Theme: Where do we go from here? We now have 70 members, including almost 50 businesses. How do we circulate the Bucks to benefit everyone?

Adirondack Cooperative Economy –

Meeting June 27, 2013, 6 PM at Jane Skorko’s House

Minutes:

Present: Bob Aspholm, Teresa Whalen, Ruth Fruda (Wbg. Econ. Devel. Committee), Paul Gilchrist (new member), Terri Jamison, Colleen Combs, Linda Marcella, Jane Skorko, Rich Myette, Jayne Bouder, Anna Busser Erik.

1. Jane Skorko volunteers to take minutes

2. Present (green) business list distributed

3. Anna speaks about change and resistance to it

– need for clear vision, expecting success

– building a support group based on triads of relationships that can withstand the pressures (of doubt, fear, mistrust – from within and without)

– remembering our power as individuals and as  a group

4. We went around the circle: What is your vision? Why did you join ACE?

Bob: possibilities of the trade system, keeping money local, creating local jobs, local versus corporate profits

Teresa: buy- local campaign, supporting local business, creating a resource list, who in the community offers which services, like minded people getting together.

Ruth: a wish to exchange services and products, reliance on eachother, keeping money local, supporting local business

Paul: longstanding interest in grassroots efforts to support local economies like in the western states.

Terri: promoting home business, creating positive change in Warrensburgh, moving towards a progressive attitude, turning Wbg into a “hip” community. new ideas, building up self esteem in kids

Colleen: helping businesses network with eachother, residents, government, involving the town board more

Linda: concern over the future, national debt, $ losing international credibility, possible  devaluation or collapse of the dollar, need for increasing people’s buying power through barter. There are almost 3,000 local currencies now in existence. There must be something to it.

Jane: meeting local people and their talents, keeping jobs local, sharing resources like her house and property, love of working in community

Rich: through participation in a food coop he saw the impact of pooling and organizing  resources, he likes supporting friends,  the social aspect and belief in regional economies

Jayne: loves bartering, garage sales, community, sharing and learning from eachother

Anna: sees the sign of the times – us like “rats in a shrinking cage”, the international monetary crisis, economic systems that move money from the poor to the rich through the” interest” tool,  the increasing financial pressure on people in general, and the need for creating solutions, inspired by the Swiss WIR (mutual credit exchange) Bank founded by the business community in 1931 as a solution during the depression,  and the local currencies created in Argentina when the national currency had a total collapse with no money available. ACE is part of an international movement by the people to take the distribution of goods and services back into their own hands. Systems like ACE are legal and recognized by the IRS under barter regulations. Transactions are taxable. The ADK Bucks are presently on par with the US$ (for convenience) and the system works like currency (this is not a discount system).

5. Present Status of ACE:

– almost 70 members, including 50 businesses

– approx 3000 ADK Bucks in circulation

– $ income approx 1,750 used for promotion, designing and printing bucks. Organizational books open to the public.

– organizational work by board and members to date all volunteer

6. Question: How are the Bucks being used? Are they circulating?

It became clear that a concerted effort needs to be made to increase circulation. We must return to the businesses that have signed up and work with them. The following is a proposal for a business survey to be printed up and used when we go to the businesses (made up out of the various comments of the evening). Some of the questions cannot be answered fully yet as not many bucks are in circulation but they need to be addressed. We need to remember that we are CREATING a new system and dont have a finished product yet. We are in a test phase. We need to communicate that so that we dont awaken false expectations at this stage.

SURVEY:

– What is the business offering exactly, how much in ADK bucks? Could each business think up a “special” to be advertised? Could the business offer a greater variety of products to sell for ADK Bucks? This  information needs to go online and into an expanded flier available for all members and potential Bucks users.

– Is the business advertising their offer? Is there a decal on the door, notice at the cash register? note on the menu? What about flags? (Terri design? prices?)

– Are all employees familiar with the Bucks, how to deal with them?

– How many Bucks are they presently taking in? comments about its use, improvements? Have they gotten new customers, are regular customers buying more?

– Is the business spending Bucks, on what? What other businesses would they like to buy from and trade with?

– Would the business be interested in selling Bucks as gift certificates to customers and tourists? Would they be interested in a credit line from ACE in order to have Bucks available for gift certificates?

– Would the business be interested in online trading between “businesses of good standing” using ADK Bucks online credits? Would they be interested in converting their excess paper Bucks into online trade credits?

7. More ideas:

– Barton Mines wants gift certificates specific to the Warrensburgh Farmer’s Markte – a very exciting idea, inspired by the ADK Bucks and Stock Farm Notes. Terri design? (Anna’s comment: These notes would need to be clearly distinguishable from the ADK Bucks as they are only usable for farmer’s market food and redeemable for US currency by the merchants whereas the ADK Bucks are not limited to the market and are not redeemable for US$. We have to careful so people dont get confused)

– Expanding the ADK Bucks outside Warrensburgh. This is planned when they are fine tuned in our town first. However we can start by involving businesses outside Warrensburgh that do business with us.

– Publicising “deals” in the web and on fliers.

– Creating ADK Bucks events (like the Xmas market): another market, Bucks days etc.

– Working with the G.Wbg Business Alliance and C of C to promote the Bucks. For instance at the next tasting we could use ADK Bucks instead of coupons or tickets. They would be sold for fund raising purposes and the vendors would receive and be able to use them themselves with all other ACE business members (also those not involved in the tasting). Customers could keep their unused Bucks (many didnt use all 10) to use in other businesses around town.

8. Many of the members present divided up the businesses for recontacting.

A special thank you to everyone who came despite the hot muggy weather AND brought such lovely food to share in our potluck.

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This entry was posted on June 25, 2013 by .

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