Pittsboro tries its own currency again

May 12, 2009 4:43:06 AM PDT
A plan to encourage people to spend money at local businesses is getting another look.It's the second time around for the Plenty, a community based substitute for the bucks consumers use to purchase products and services.

Boosters hope the community currency will catch on in Pittsboro.

"It's about circulation, or about how many times that dollar or plenty goes around town," said Lyle Estille, Plenty booster.

Estille, who is Canadian, believes the recession will motivate people to replace traditional greenbacks with a local bill of trade.

"We are exploring a different way of being," he said.

For example, since food grown in Chatham County is likely to be sold in Pittsboro, Plenties could buy that food or buy biofuel at a local station.

"You can only spend it around here, so we are mindful to our local connection to each other," Estille said.

It's the second time around for this idea. Six years ago, the idea did not catch on. But now Capital Bank's Pittsboro branch will exchange Plenties for dollars.

"The idea that you can trade your Plenties in for a Federal Reserve Note, at a bank, solves the circulatory problem," Estille explained. "That is you can't get stuck with them anymore. IIf the bank is willing to work with people on it, and the merchants are on board, it's a great advertising."

Who knows? Maybe the Plenty will catch on outside of Pittsboro this time around.


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