Greensboro Getting Its Own Currency Soon

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Greensboro is a few months away from having its own currency thanks to at least a dozen businesses and a local bank.

The businesses will be accepting a Greensboro-only currency once it starts circulating in the spring. The currency will be printed on paper with security features and can be used either alone or with U.S. dollars.

The Bank of Oak Ridge has agreed to support the currency's creation and circulation.

The currency will be overseen by a nonprofit with a governing board. Organizers are hoping to sign on 50 businesses by the time it's circulated.

The currency has not yet been named, and organizers are turning to students and the community for suggestions.

“The local money has to stay here. There's no other place for it to go, so it really will stimulate local commerce,” said Signe Waller Foxworth, a former teacher and activist who came up with the idea three years ago.

Mahi's Seafood Bar and Grill on Lawndale Drive was one of the first to sign onto the local currency. Owner and city Councilwoman Marikay Abuzuaiter said she thinks many will use the currency once it starts circulating.

“You have a wide variety of people who have already signed on, and those varieties of trade and business are certainly appealing to Greensboro residents. I certainly believe it's going to grow,” Abuzuaiter said.

“It stands to reason that if you are going to encourage many more commercial transactions, many more people are going to get paid. Many more people are going to get employed and it's going to stimulate the economy,” Foxworth said.

Greensboro will join other big cities with their own currency such as Philadelphia, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and New Orleans. In North Carolina, Pittsboro, southwest of Raleigh, has the Plenty.

The constitution bans governments from making coins, but they can create paper currency.