Local currency has never been more needed.
What we’re going through now makes 2008 look like a warm-up.
The Brixton Pound was started in response to the global financial crisis. You remember that? When the banks gambled all our money, lost it, we gave it back to them again, and to pay for it we had a decade of Austerity.
It was designed to keep money circulating in the local Brixton economy, to support the people who live and work in our community, rather than faceless shareholders, and those banks we mentioned.
For ten years we did just that, and along the way we started a local lottery, ran a micro-grantgiving fund for hyperlocal activism, and ran the world’s best café. It was pay-what-you-can, and we saved ingredients from landfill. It was tough keeping all that going with no funding, and a business model that didn’t even insist on being paid.
What we didn’t realise, was that it was all just practice.
In late 2019, we shuttered the café, and hunkered down to plot Brixton Pound #2, little- knowing that the world would be doing similar just a couple of months later.
The Brixton we’ll emerge slowly into is anyone’s guess at the moment. What’s certain though is it’s going to be harder than ever — and we’re going to need to have each others’ backs.