Local money? Yes, BerkShares!
BerkShares, a local currency printed with the likenesses of hometown heroes such as Norman Rockwell, Herman Melville, and W.E.B. Du Bois, just celebrated its tenth anniversary. Nearly 400 Berkshire businesses (including 16 bank branches) accept the cash, and its availability is spreading to north county.
Executive Director Alice Maggio says the focus is on community-supported industry as a strategy for economic development. BerkShares sponsors an annual Entry to Entrepreneurship program, a ten-week course that shows young people how to build a business plan from the ground up, and holds public workshops.