City Hall plays down possibility of a special Cork currency to kickstart local economy

City Hall plays down possibility of a special Cork currency to kickstart local economy

The expanded use of the Cork Chamber Gift Card is currently being explored by the Cork Chamber, according to City Hall executives.

It’s one of the suggestions that could help to kickstart Cork’s economy following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Green Party Councillor Colette Finn asked City Hall executives if any consideration had been given to developing a local currency post-lockdown.

She cited the Bristol pound, which was launched in 2012, as an example. The currency seeks to contain local spend in Bristol.

In response, Cork City Council’s director of strategic & economic development Fearghal Reidy outlined that in that case, the currency is “overseen by the Bristol Pound Community Interest Project Limited and underpinned by the Bristol Credit Union who guarantee each Bristol Pound for one Pound Sterling. It took approximately 3 years from inception to launch of the Bristol Pound.” 

“In addition, it is likely that a local currency would have to be associated with a Money Transmission Business that is regulated by the Central Bank.” 

However, Mr Reidy said that all options to kickstart the economy in Cork city are worth consideration and that the Council is working with stakeholders to develop supports and a response locally to businesses facing significant challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This will include the augmentation of the Cork Chamber Gift Card. The objective of the Chamber Gift Card is similar to that of local currencies: to maximise local spend with local businesses,” Mr Reidy said.

The expanded use of the Cork Chamber Gift Card is currently being explored by the Cork Chamber of Commerce. This will combine with a range of initiatives that will be developed further to support local retailers and services,” he added.

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