COULD a Tasmanian dollar be the answer to helping boost the local economy?
Both Devonport and Smithton already have their own currency, which locals swap with Australian dollars to use for shopping and services in their community.
And by all accounts it’s a success.
Devonport Mayor Steve Martin said the council introduced Devonport Dollars to boost the local economy and encourage people to shop locally about six years ago, over a set two- to three-month period each year.
He said the currency was bought dollar for dollar from the council and Devonport Visitor Information Centre, and once it’s used in the community, business people return it to collect Australian currency.
“It’s very successful, there’s probably only six or seven businesses in Devonport who don’t take part in it,” Alderman Martin said.
“Devonport people are about supporting Devonport people, but it’s not only supporting the businesses, it’s also keeping locals employed in Devonport and that’s a benefit to us.”
Circular Head Progress Group Business co-president Tania Brown said they started a similar scheme in June with a local club raffling off $1000 worth of Smithton Dollars, and it is now available to everyone.
Mrs Brown said about 35 businesses were involved, so those winning or buying the vouchers had access to a wide range of stores and services.
“In the past the club might have just purchased a TV or something and it benefited one store, this way we’re finding that people are spending a little money here and there, so more businesses are benefiting,” Mrs Brown said.
Although Launceston does not have its own dollar, Launceston Chamber of Commerce executive officer Michael Bailey said it was a concept that had worked elsewhere in the country.
“I’m in favour of anything that we can do to try and encourage people to shop locally – it’s worth investigating,” he said.
CityProm executive officer Vanessa Cahoon said it was something that they would have to see if there was any interest in from businesses.
“I do think the concept has merit and would love to see us do something similar down the track,” Ms Cahoon said.
“Encouraging communities to buy locally is critical to supporting local jobs and investment.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.