Sunday, May 10, 2009

Detroit business owners launch their own money

Detroit Cheers were launched in May 2009 by three business owners who chose to take charge of the city's economic woes and strengthen their local economy.

Consumers who use the scrip are making a defacto pledge to buy local, since only businesses within the city accept it. And that's the point, says Greg
Gedda, the owner of
Union Street in Midtown, one of the businesses that will accept Cheers. "Because it's the city, it's for everyone, and this is our town to promote," he says. "This is the Detroit economic stimulus package."Cheers 101Put plainly, Cheers are locally issued currency accepted at select local businesses. Belanger, Tharp and Linardos each put up $1,500 to back the $4,500 worth of Cheers in circulation.
The backing money is held in reserve at a bank. As backers are added, they'll release more Cheers. So one Cheers equals one dollar. "It's as good as the U.S. dollar … ironically, it's no better," Belanger says.
Reported by ModelD Media 10 May 2009

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