Tag Archives: B£e

New Year's Resolutions

We’re never going to tell you to diet (all bodies are beautiful). But there are a few things we at B£ would like to do, or do more of, in 2015, and we thought we’d share our thoughts with you.

1) Keep shopping locally.

You all did a stellar job at shopping locally at BriXmas – thank you! Supporting independent businesses and a resilient local economy is a year-round kind of thing though, so it would be great if more of us did more of it. Using B£s is a great way to show your love for a unique, diverse, independent Brixton – and there aren’t many things you *can’t* buy (Aromatherapy, Belly dancing, Comedy club… and many many more all the way till Z). Next time you need something: everyday things (groceries, dry cleaning, DIY supplies), special occasion things (wellness treatments, jewellery, flowers) – check out the B£ Directory and see if you can get it in your local independent business and pay in B£s.

2) Save money – set up a B£ standing order

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Many B£ users have told us before that using B£ actually *saved* them money –  it’s so easy to manage your expenses. Set up a standing order for a sum of your choice – B£20, 30, maybe 50 a month, and try to do your all your shopping with it. It helps to buy what you need and when you need it. Going to big chain stores and supermarkets usually ends with buying lots of things you didn’t want or need in the first place. And what you do spend benefits the community!

 3) Get to know your neighbourhood better

You can explore the B£ Directory – visit businesses you didn’t know were right there, on your doorstep. But Brixton is so much bigger than that, and its rich history and communities can sometimes go unnoticed. Check out Unseen Tours, a multi-award winning social enterprise which offers unique walking tours of London led by homeless, formerly homeless, and vulnerably housed tour guides. Community leader Mahamed, their Brixton guide, will show you many things about your local area that you didn’t know about before. The B£ team went on a tour with him just before Christmas and we learned a lot! He’s an amazing guy, and literally everyone said hello to him in the street.

To book a Brixton tour, email walk@sockmobevents.org.uk or call 07514 266 774. Unseen also do tours of Brick Lane, Camden, Covent Garden, London Bridge, and Shoreditch – tell your friends!

4) Donate to local charities – in B£s

Did you know you can give B£s to Brixton charities? Brixton Pound supports a number of local charities and community groups who take donations via pay-by-text, so you can use your B£e balance to make a quick and easy donation to a cause you support. The charities can then use their B£s locally; for instance  Norwood and Brixton Foodbank regularly buys huge amounts of food with B£s from grocery shops like Faiz Foods. Another great community charity is the Brixton Soup Kitchen, a grassroots project helping homeless people by providing food, support and companionship, and aiming to empower Londoners in need in a warm and friendly environment. Aside from hot meals they offer CV workshops, job guidance, and advice on housing and benefits.

For a full list of supported organisations click here, or go straight to your pay-by-text account to make a donation.

5) Tell your bank to stop funding climate change

Is your bank heavily investing in oil, gas and coal extraction? These are socially and environmentally disastrous industries, and so effectively the big banks are driving irreversible climate change. Not in your name? You want to get involved in Move Your Money UK’s new campaign Divest! The campaign is asking you to take control of your savings and put your bank on notice. Divest! is giving the big banks 3 months – if they don’t clean up their act, Move Your Money can advise you where to move to support Good Money: where your savings will be contributing to a positive change in the world. Brixton Pound supports ethical banking, and so is backing the Divest! campaign. Take action now and put your bank on notice – “either you divest, or I will!”

6) Go vegan!

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The already very high vegan contingent of the B£ Team is getting a boost from one of us who’s doing Veganuary this year – good luck Tom! Going vegan, or at least reducing your meat and dairy consumption, makes a bigger environmental impact than giving up driving! It reduces carbon emissions and pollution, saves water, energy, and wildlife. It’s also super good for you. Have a go! If you’re very used to eating meat and dairy, try it part-time: limit the days on which you eat those products, and try to introduce more vegan recipes to your cooking. The Veganuary website has lots of resources for beginner vegans.

7) Fly less

Flying massively contributes to climate change, and instead of flying less, we are flying more and more – according to Wikipedia about 8.3 million people fly daily, which is twice as much as in 1999. When you’re planning your holiday or business travel this year, consider overland options!

 

Tell us what *you* are doing for a more sustainable 2015!

Payroll Local: UK first for local currencies

For the first time next month some Lambeth Council employees will be part paid in Brixton Pounds. Back in June we announced plans for its launch and we’re excited to say that the scheme is now live! The scheme gives all Lambeth Council employees the chance of receiving a portion of their salary in electronic Brixton Pounds (B£e).

Employees can then spend their B£e with local, independent businesses or donate to local charities and social enterprises. Employees who wish to be part of the scheme will receive an additional 10% on the proportion of salary they put into their online B£ account.

Over 120 members of staff have already pledged to receive a portion of their salary in Brixton Pounds, which is excellent news for local, independent businesses who are likely to see increased trade as a result. It is also great news for our community, as more money will stick to Brixton, directly benefiting local residents. That’s not all! The scheme will offer a convenient way to donate to local charities, social enterprises and community groups that may not be reached by corporate payroll giving schemes. Details of the charities involved can be found here.

If you work for Lambeth Council and would like a portion of your salary in Brixton Pounds, please sign up here. Detailed questions and answers can be found here however if there is anything else you would like to know, please email us on info@brixtonpound.org.

We’re grateful for funding from Nesta from their innovation in giving fund without which this project would not have happened.

Once again, this is a U.K. first. Something that Brixton can be really proud of. If you’re not yet using Brixton Pounds, there couldn’t be a more exciting time to get on board. There are now 92 businesses using pay-by-text. Open an account today!

 

Business Rates are live!

Brixton Pound businesses are now able to pay their business rates to Lambeth Council using electronic Brixton Pounds. This will give local independent businesses an additional way to spend their B£e balance. The first business to do this was Casa Morita . Watch the short video of Sarahgwen talking about her business and about the Brixton Pound.

We’re excited to be the first local currency in the U.K. to be accepted by the council in payment for business rates. Thank you to Lambeth Council for working with us to make this possible!

Keep an eye out for more exciting announcements in the near future!

Payroll Local to launch in September!

Today we announced a new way for Lambeth Council’s 3,000 staff to support their local community – Payroll Local will launch this autumn. Payroll local is a scheme that will allow all Lambeth Council employees to receive a small portion of their salary in electronic Brixton Pounds (B£e). They can then spend their B£e with local, independent businesses or donate to local charities and social enterprises. Employees who wish to be part of the scheme will receive an additional 10% on the proportion of salary they put into their online B£ account.

Derrick Anderson (pictured), Chief Executive of Lambeth Council, has already committed to receiving part of his salary in B£es.

This is excellent news for local, independent, Brixton businesses who are likely to see increased trade as a result. It is also great news for our community, as more money will stick to Brixton, directly benefiting local residents. In additon, the scheme will offer a convenient way to donate to local charities, social enterprises and community groups that may not be reached by corporate payroll giving schemes.

The Brixton Pound’s managing director Simon Woolf commented “Payroll Local is one of a number of innovative schemes that we’re launching this year – It’s vital for the Brixton Pound’s ongoing success that we don’t stand still. We’re absolutely delighted to have support from Lambeth Council at the highest level, as they are one of the most important financial players in our community.

You can find out more about Payroll Local by watching this short video or by checking out our frequently asked questions page. Note that the video was put together a few months ago and there are now 72 businesses accepting pay-by-text, with more joining the scheme every week!