Rather than watching his townspeople struggle through the COVID-19 economic crisis, one town mayor in the US has taken action, issuing his very own currency to reboot local trade.
According to a recent article in business and tech newsletter The Hustle, Wayne Fournier, mayor of Tenino, Washington, set out to support local families who were doing it tough, while also getting some cash (US dollar or otherwise) into local businesses.
But this is no crypto or digital currency. Quite the opposite, in fact.
The money is printed on thin sheets of wood, and was created using a 130-year-old newspaper printer in the town’s museum.
Fournier was already planning to set aside $10,000 to help support low-income families affected by the pandemic. But, instead of giving them federal dollars, he will instead issue the wooden $25 notes, up to $300 per month, which can only be redeemed in local stores.
“Amazon will not be accepting wooden dollars,” the mayor said.
According to Fournier, The Hustle reports, each note bears a phrase in Latin that roughly translates as ‘we’ve got this handled’.
Businesses in the town can turn over the notes to the city in exchange for actual legal tender.
Already, the wooden notes are causing a buzz, with applications for the faux financial support pouring in, and with Tenino residents sharing images and stories on social media.
In fact, it’s possible the wooden currency could become a permanent fixture of Tenino.
“We’ll run out this program,” Fournier said. “And then we’ll look into having our own city currency.”