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Pittsboro Plenty gets unprecedented press

Everyone is talking about the Pittsboro Plenty. The Plenty is a local currency project that aims to keep money in the local market in Chatham County, where I (Rich) live. The idea is that smaller economies are healthier than larger, and particularly, global ones. Headed up by Executive Director Melissa Frey, the Plenty has been revived and refreshed with backing by Capital Bank in Pittsboro, NC.

The press has gone bananas. You’ve seen the CNN story posted on our site, but that is just one of dozens of organizations covering the Plenty. Internationally, Russian, Canadian, Irish and Polish television have covered the relaunch! Here are just some of the news sources that have covered the story, and links to the media coverage are available at www.theplenty.org:

Chapel Hill News, May 27, 2009
Tulsa World (Tulsa, Oklahoma) May 17, 2009
Inside Edition (CBS) May 14, 2009
WTVD, NEWS 11, (Raleigh, Durham), May 12, 2009
News 14 Carolina, May 12, 2009
Channel One Russia, May 12, 2009
Phoenix Business Journal, May 11, 2009
RTE, (National Radio Ireland), May 10, 2009
WFMU, May 4, 2009
Polish TV, May 3, 2009
Irish Times, (Dublin), April 25, 2009
CNN, April 22, 2009
WRAL TV News, (Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville), April 13, 2009
CFRB, (Canadian FM radio) April 11, 2009
FOX Business, April 10, 2009
Democracy Now, April 9, 2009
The Telegraph (UK), April 9, 2009
USA Today, April 5, 2009

We first printed the Plenty back in 2002. The certificates feature artwork by Bynum, NC artist Emma Skurnick. Depictions of local flora and fauna, as well as eco-friendly initiatives such as renewable energy, are backed up with a painting of an oak tree and the motto, “In each other we trust.” The original value was based on labor hours, so there were ¼, ½, 1, 5 and 10 Plenty bills. To help demystify the system of exchange, the new currency has a par value of $1, $5, $10, $20 and $50. The bills can be exchanged at Capital Bank for Federal Reserve Notes at a discounted rate of $.90 per 1 Plenty, resulting in a 10% discount on goods purchased using the Plenty. Merchants that accept the Plenty are plentiful (couldn’t help it), and include The General Store Cafe, Chatham Marketplace, Piedmont Biofuels, Chatham Wireless, and T.S. Designs.

The bills are printed in 6 colors with soy inks and water-miscible chemistry on a felt-embossed paper that contains 80% post-consumer recycled fiber. There are embossed serial numbers printed on the letterpress, and a watermark was overprinted to make the bills difficult to copy. The Plenty is, true to it’s homegrown mission, a fine example of green printing.

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2 Responses to “Pittsboro Plenty gets unprecedented press”

  1. Mark Herpel Says:

    The relaunch of the Plenty is an exciting event. We have been following it closely in Community Currency Magazine

    Mark Herpel
    Skype IM ‘digitalcurrency’

  2. Frank Cohenour Says:

    This is so refreshing. a very exciting and positive approach to the economic problems of this country. We have been so brainwashed into thinking that a privately owned bank(Federal Reserve) knows what is best for us. Because it “controls” the other large banks who have got this country and the world into this economic crisis, it(the corporate heads, managers, etc.) thinks it is the only institution that can print money. Should I mention out of thin air also. I honestly believe if every community would do what Pittsboro, NC has done we would have all the banks wanting to do business on our terms. I can see small businesses begin to flourish again and the disaster of globalization becoming less. Will the American people wake up in time to salvage what is left of this great country? Time will tell.

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