Community Currency Appears to Be Catching On

The effort to use local currency to promote local business continues to grow, with more than 60 Champaign-Urbana (IL) merchants agreeing to accept UC Smiles. More than $97,000 of the colorful bills…have been printed. UC Smiles Executive Director Seonmi Kim said recently that the program will be a success “if we can circulate around 60,000 UC Smiles in a year.”

Kim said there aren’t many expenses because UC Smiles is largely a volunteer project. But the program must pay for website management and the printing of brochures, among other things.

The program was started to encourage shoppers to buy local.