Small Businesses Should Create Own Currency – Earl Jarrett
Small businesses should build their strength by developing their own community currency, says Jamaica National Building Society General Manager, Earl Jarrett.
A community currency is a formalized barter system intended to boost trade within a particular area. Mr. Jarrett said members of the Caribbean Diaspora in the United Kingdom (UK) had already adopted the concept through the use of the ‘Black Pound’.
“The Black Pound is intended to keep the pound within the black community by using goods and services within the community,” Mr. Jarrett said. He was addressing the Small Business Association of Jamaica (SBAJ)’s first Brunch ‘N Talk meeting at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in Kingston on Sunday, March 28.
Using successful networking models used by other communities in the UK, the Black Pound initiative aims to encourage Black consumers to support businesses within their own neighborhoods. Thus a Caribbean restaurant will use the currency to employ the services of a property maintenance company as well as a Caribbean food supplier which both in turn use the local laundry and the entire group can support their resident real estate agent.
“In a similar manner, you can circulate goods and services within your community,” Mr. Jarrett suggested to the SBAJ meeting. “I encourage you to support your own, by developing your own SBAJ pound.”
The audience of SBAJ members as well as members of the wider public applauded the suggestion as Mr. Jarrett added that, “This will serve to strengthen your community.”
Such networking models are in use around the world and are known to boost financial activity within the participating communities and contribute to strengthening their economies.
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