Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The Exeter Pound: Vote for funding!

The Exeter Pound project is well under way:
Futures Forum: The Exeter Pound: "What will it mean for you?" >>> open meeting: Thursday 26th March
Futures Forum: Exeter Pound: vote for your favourite designs

This message has just been received from Transition Exeter who are behind the project:

Please could you do a favour for Transition Exeter? We initiated the Exeter Pound project 18 months ago with Council support, to generate a local currency to keep purchasing with local independent sustainable businesses - where it also creates more employment - good livelihoods - and more income in the local economy.

Exeter Pound project has applied for £5,000 to Aviva's Community Fund in order to print the map and develop the app that guides people to local businesses rather than chain shops, multinationals etc.
The result depends on getting the most votes out of a huge variety of projects.

Please vote for us at 
Exeter Pound | Aviva Community Fund
right now! The competition is only till May 30th.

Yes, it really is number 2559! We need lots of votes. Please tweet, facebook and tell your friends!

Transition Exeter

Here is the supporting piece:

Exeter pound Community Interest Company

Location: Exeter

Community Support

Funding level: Up to £5,000

The Exeter Pound will be a local currency launched in the autumn by community groups working with the City Council, which can only be spent in local independent businesses. People can buy the paper Exeter Pound notes for sterling or opt to receive them electronically in their salary, to support their community and boost local enterprise. The Exeter Pound will be 100% sterling backed, safe a secure, easy to transfer online or pay by text.

Exeter is full of independent small traders in retail, arts, culture, fashion, business and IT services, leisure, health and food producers. They're colourful, often quirky, interesting and research shows they employ more people per pound than large firms. People who work there often love what they do, but struggle in the face of rising costs and megabusinesses occupying prime locations

The Exeter Pound will
1. Raise the profile of these local businesses, channel spending their way, help them survive and flourish
2. Increase local incomes and employment. 
3. Help us meet more of our needs locally, depending less on the volatile world economy and distant supppliers. We'll be more sustainable too. Devon is full of wonderful food - we could encourage our farmers and food producers, they need it! 
4. Creating a positive sense of community. The paper notes will reflect what we love and what's special about our city, a favourite footballer, beautiful surroundings, the work of a 10 year-old artist whose design was chosen by public vote.

The grant would be used to help people find and use independent local businesses, by providing a printed map, an interactive online version on our website, and a mobile GPS app to show the nearest businesses at street level. We'll give it to visitors and shoppers and promote it to residents and students. They'll love the 'secret city' they'll discover as well as seeing some key players like the arts centre, football and rugby clubs, theatres, pubs and cafes.

Many people including professionals have helped us for free. That's why we only need £5,000 for research and design, printing the map, IT support to integrate it with our website, and design and deliver the mobile app. It will make the Exeter Pound more exciting, accessible and easy to use.

Who will benefit?
*Hundreds of independent traders, mainly small businesses, could benefit from the map raising their profile and enabling new customers to discover them; the Exeter Pound project expects to launch in September with 100 traders and to increase participation thereafter. These have many hundreds of employees, quality jobs and incomes which spread around the community, besides bringing colour and quirky originality to the city in places like the Quay and Gandy Street (inspiration for Diagonalley). The Exeter Pound will bring loyal customers, making traders more stable in hard times.

*Residents, visitors and students in Exeter will benefit from the survival and flourishing of these small businesses, from the character, choice and quality which they represent, get to know their community better and value local products and services.. 

*Young people will gain from more local job opportunities - many now leave to find work. We're also directly supporting young volunteers learn skills in publicity, marketing and video-blogging which will help their job search. We've already publicised the work of college student Lily who designed our logo and others who have offered artwork or videos.

*The Exeter Pound will work hard to see that start up businesses,and those run by ethnic minorities are able to join and share the benefits. Exeter is home to communities from Middle Eastern, Chinese, Polish, South Asian and other backgrounds. The map will help their businesses to be part of a thriving city, help people get to know one another as a joined-up community. The note designs also reflect Exeter's multicultural and diverse history, showing that we all belong.

Exeter Pound | Aviva Community Fund

And here's the supporting video:

Exeter Pound Design Competition - YouTube

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