Would You Spend JP-Bucks?

The experiment will involve “Boston Bean” $5 notes good at participating local retail stores.

This holiday season you could buy your gifts locally with cash, or with Jamaica Plain-only currency.

Boston Bean, in partnership with The JP New Economy Transition, will inject $1,000 worth of $5 “Boston Bean” notes into the local economy. The notes will be distributed for free to neighbors to spend on holiday shopping at local participating stores.

Each bill will get its own authentic, indented serial number, according to Dakota Butterfield, a JPNET representative, at a Wednesday meeting of the Jamaica Plain Business and Professional Association. The program has been funded by an anonymous donor.

The currency is good through Jan. 31, 2013.

The idea is that dollars spent locally is a sustainable solution to an economic downturn, according to a JPNET press statement.

“Every dollar spent locally generates two to four times the economic benefit (in terms of income, jobs, tax revenue) than a dollar spent at a multi-national chain store,” the statement says.

Here’s a list of businesses accepting Boston Bean currency: 

  • Plaza Meat Market (local meat, eggs, butter and milk) -
  • Designs by Rey (the tailor for David Ortiz!) – 3161 Washington Street
  • Latino Beauty Salon
  • La Personalidad Beauty Supply – 3119 Washington Street
  • Crystal fruit - 278 Centre Street
  • Evelyn's Market - 298 Centre Street
  • La GranVia (Casual and Sports Clothes)- 306 Centre Street
  • Gondres Bakery - 333 Centre Street
  • Video Underground - 385 Centre Street
  • Revolution Bicycle - 371 Centre Street
  • Yachris Market - corner of Boylston & Amory
  • Canto 6 – corner of Green & Washington
  • Ula Café – in the Brewery 

The program will begin with a kickoff event Nov. 27 with a potluck dinner at the NATE Smith House, 155 Lamartine St.

Would you spend JP-only currency? Tell us in the comments.

Ajax November 16, 2012 at 10:54 AM
This is so stupid. Why would anyone trade flexible US dollars for inflexible JP cash. Makes no sense. If you want to support local business, just spend US dollars at local stores. Would you accept JP cash in change or would you demand to get US dollars back? These bills will probably be counterfeited and create nothing but problems. Why make changes to a currency system that already works?
Matt November 20, 2012 at 06:28 PM
I think you missed the line, "The notes will be distributed for free to neighbors to spend on holiday shopping at local participating stores." It's to encourage spending, not replace currency.
Ajax November 24, 2012 at 03:06 PM
As long as I don't get them back in change, I'm good.
Orion Kriegman December 13, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Here is a link to the EXPANDING list of participating businesses, and a google map to help you find them: http://jptransition.org/about/boston-bean/ I've already spent my Bean at Plaza Meat Market - its a good excuse to go to a business you haven't been to before and meet your local merchant/neighbor.
Dakota Butterfield December 14, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Hey Ajax! You might want to check out the BERKSHARE, a local currency system that has been running in the Berkshares of western Massachusetts since 2006. Over 300 businesses accept the BERKSHARE, and the currency is issued by 5 different banks through 13 branch offices. You walk into a bank, hand over $90US dollars and get $100Bershares in return. As long as you do your transactions in BERKSHARES, you're realizing a 10% discount over people who are paying in US dollars. And it's really helped the local community, as people look for more and more ways to keep their buying local by using BERKSHARES. It's a tested system that really works, and I think it could be great for Jamaica Plain and the greater Boston area. Local currencies also offer the possibility of protecting the local money supply from any big change in the value of the US dollar. You can delink the currency by basing the value of it on a recognized basket of goods instead of linking it to the US dollar. Not important just now, but it might be someday if the US dollar takes big hits in an increasingly uncertain economic future...


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