Spending Bristol Pounds on Gloucester Road just got easier with a new map

Gloucester Road map on the counter at Playfull Toyshop

There is now a beautiful new map of the Gloucester Road, showing all the businesses who accept Bristol Pounds alongside artwork from residents in the local area.

Gloucester Road is the longest independent high street in Britain, and arguably the best. You can get just about anything you need from an independent shop on the road. Unsurprisingly then, it is a great place to go if you use Bristol Pounds – a whopping 55 of the businesses on the road trade in Bristol’s money. Gloucester Road is a hub of creativity, with many local artists’ work displayed in galleries and on outside walls alike.

Artwork on the map has been created by local artists and provided by Gloucester Road Central, a local traders’ association, who are running a project to put the artists’ work on banners hanging from lampposts up and down the road.

Gloucester Road map outside Room 212 with owner Sarah Thorpe

Adam Rich, Communications Manager at the Bristol Pound: “Gloucester Road is a lifeline of independent Bristol and a hub of creativity – the new Gloucester Road map is a celebration of these things, while also being a practical tool to help you spend your money in a way which benefits the city.”

The Bristol Pound is an alternative currency which encourages spending in independent shops, while also changing the way money works. Bristolians open a Bristol Pound account and change their Sterling money into the local currency. They can then spend Bristol Pounds online, using their phone or withdraw paper Bristol Pound notes. Those without an account can still use Bristol Pounds, by swapping Sterling notes at the till of a business called a Bristol Pound ‘Cash Point’. A list of these can be found on the Bristol Pound website.

Mr Rich goes on to explain: “Bristol Pound members don’t want to be taken for a ride any more. We don’t want chain stores or corporate banks taking a big slice of the profits, carting it off and dumping it in the pockets of the 1%. By using local money in independent shops in Bristol, we are taking back control of our economy and keeping money in the city for the benefit of the people.”

The Gloucester Road map is available for free at any of the Bristol Pound businesses on the road, and at the Tourist Information Centre on the Waterfront.

Find out more about the Bristol Pound and sign up for an account at www.bristolpound.org

Which parliamentary candidates will fight for a fairer, stronger and greener local economy for Bristol?

The Bristol Pound asks candidates for Bristol West and South how they will support a strong local economy.

The people of Bristol are gearing up for the final round of campaigns before we hit the ballot box on Thursday 8th June, and it’s a general election like no other.

The emphasis of party campaigns has been centred around important national and global concerns, but in such turbulent political times, it’s easy to lose sight of the local issues affecting the communities we know and love. Before you nail your colours to the mast, what do you really know about Bristol’s candidates’ policies on our local economy?

The UK’s economy has transformed beyond recognition over the last 30 years, from an economy centred around manufacturing to one profiting from its massive financial sector. The UK can now be seen as a playground for multi-national corporations, with the lowest corporation tax rate in the G20. The current financial system has given birth to all kinds of issues, the housing crisis being just one that has severely affected Bristol.

Whatever your political affiliation may be, the arguments for building a strong local economy are genuine; stimulating employment growth, procurement of local products without large carbon price tags and reducing inequality are just some of the things we can achieve by a fairer local economy.

I asked Bristol’s main candidates for South and West how they planned to create a fairer, stronger and happier economy in Bristol, and here’s what they said…

Continue reading

The Bristol Pound text number is changing

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Good news! There is a new number now in place for when you Pay by Text, which will mean better coverage for some networks, and quicker replies. This is just one new feature that we are putting in place to improve the ease of use of Bristol Pounds. This new number is 07441 900 333. The old number will continue to work until late April 2017 after which payments and other transactions will no longer go through on that number.

So, what do you need to do?

As a personal member:

ACTION: Update the number in your phone contacts now. If you use the app, accept the incoming update.

As a business member:

ACTION: Change your Pay by Text POS sign. You should have received new POS in the post. If you have not please contact us on 0117 929 8642 or email info@bristolpound.org and we’ll arrange for it to be sent to you.

Updating the app

If you use the Bristol Pound app and do not have apps set up to automatically update, you will need to access your app store and update the app.

  • For Apple products, open the iTunes App Store and tap the Updates icon at the bottom of the screen.
  • For Android, go to the Play Store, choose My Apps & Games, find the Bristol Pound app and choose update.
  • For Windows Phone, go to the Store app, choose Settings, then choose the Check for Updates button.

Why is the number changing?

We are changing the number for several reasons:

  • to improve coverage and allow quicker confirmation texts
  • to reduce operating costs (the cost to us to send the confirmation texts)
  • to increase future functionality

Thank you for continuing to support the Bristol Pound and Bristol’s local economy. If you have any issues or queries please get in touch.

How can we make sure that more of our taxes stay in Bristol, working for the people who live here?

The council spends £350 million of public money each year. Most of this is spent with businesses outside of Bristol, including with large multi-nationals. The Panama Papers released last year made it clear that some of this ends up in tax havens overseas. What can we do to ensure that more of our taxes stay in Bristol, supporting the real economy – the local businesses and the people who live here?

Well, the obvious answer is: pay your taxes in Bristol Pounds.

Bristol City Council is committed to respending 100% of the Bristol Pounds they receive – as business rates, BID payments, market rents and council tax.

That means that if you pay your council tax in Bristol Pounds, every (Bristol) penny of it goes back out in Bristol Pounds to local, independent businesses – supporting local jobs and getting money moving around the city.

Last year 119 people paid their council tax in Bristol Pounds. That’s great! But just imagine how much wealth we could keep moving around the city if we could increase that number this coming tax year!

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So, what happens to the Bristol Pounds the Council is getting now?

Many council employees choose to take a part of their wages in Bristol Pounds. In doing this, council employees (civil servants and councillors) take on the pledge to spend more of their own money locally. Some choose to buy their lunch from an independent café, pay their energy bills or buy their groceries, some decided to buy all their gifts from independent retailers. Watch from 0:56 to hear from Councillor Carla Denyer and then council employee Elaine Ashley:

But last year, Bristol City Council got even more ambitious. They decided to use their Bristol Pounds to choose a local architect firm Alec French for some crucial renovation work on Bristol’s City Hall. This kept a significant amount of public money within our local economy, passing on a pledge for Alec French to localise their supply chains too.

Here’s what Nigel Dyke, Director of Alec French had to say on why supporting our local economy is important:

“Alec French have had a Bristol Pound account for nearly 3 years now.  Set up in 2015 as part of our response to Bristol Green Capital we have used it to localise our supply chain wherever possible.  As a local business we see this as an important part of our commitment to Bristol and our support for a great organisation contributing massively to a better city.”

Paying your council tax is an amazing way of ensuring our hard-earned taxes work for communities in Bristol and don’t leak out of the city through large multi-national companies to offshore tax havens and executive pay deals. Let’s use our money for good.

Council tax bills will be hitting doormats from next week. So you can set up your Bristol Pound payments pretty soon (and if you don’t have an account yet, there’s still time to sign up to get your payments done in Bristol Pounds).

Here’s Hannah explaining how to do it:

If you have any troubles setting up the payment, we’ve got brand new video walk-throughs available (uploaded this week!) on our YouTube page. And you can always get in touch – I’m here to help you. Email me on ruby@bristolpound.org or call me on 0117 929 8642.

Oh, and if you don’t have a Bristol Pound account yet, sign up for one now and let’s change money, for good!

Cheers all,

Ruby

5 ways to help you be a hero this Christmas – take the Bristol Pound Christmas Challenge!

There’s no denying it: ‘tis the festive season. And for many of us that means getting gifts for loved ones and gathering goodies to enjoy over the festive period. Bristol’s streets are a-buzzing with merriment.

There’s something you can do to make the season of gift-buying and goodie-gathering a whole heap more fun for you, better for Bristol AND the global economy.

Use Bristol Pounds!

Take up the challenge and spread the love this season. Switch that Sterling for beautiful Bristol Pounds, then when you go spend it you’ll be building and protecting what we all love about Bristol, and helping make our city fairer, greener and more vibrant.

Here at Bristol Pound HQ we want to make this as easy as possible for everyone so we’ve put together 5 ways to help you be a hero this Christmas. I’ve added links, so if you like what you see, give it a click to find out more:

  1. The Bristol Pound advent calendar. We’re putting together a giant advent calendar and popping it in the St Nicks Market foyer. Each day, we’ll open the next door to reveal a special deal for Bristol Pound users to help you with your shopping! What’s that? You won’t be able to join us in the St Nick’s foyer every morning throughout December? Well okay, we’ll post it up on social media each morning too! Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to keep up-to-date.
  2. The Bristol Pound Christmas market. We’re arranging a day of festivity on the 10th December at the Bristol Energy Hub on the waterfront. We’ll have: local craft and produce stalls; live music; free mince pies; Caring at Christmas are doing a wrapping service; you can win a Real Economy hamper; you can pick up the latest Bristol Pound business map and you can find out more about all the things you can do with Bristol Pounds (I can guarantee you don’t know all the things you can do with Bristol Pounds!). Plus, we’re right next to the Harbourside Market, where plenty of folk take the Bristol Pound. More info here.poster-for-christmas-market-620px 
  3. Our new Bristol Pound Map of central Bristol – more detailed than ever, stretching from Temple Meads to the Grain Barge and from Wapping Wharf to the Bear Pit, you’ll find 128 shops, pubs, cafes, hair dressers, homeware stores, florists, and much, much more. We’ll be handing them out at the market, but also sending one out to every Bristol Pound member.img_20161122_122219
  4. Indies in Bristol – a brand-new, city-wide event to celebrate Bristol’s amazing independent businesses and encourage Bristolians to shop local for Christmas. The main hub is in the Station courtyard (The Old Fire Station) in the city centre, where a central traders market of gifts, street food and a bar will be based. We’ll have a Bristol Pound ‘bank’ at the entrance of the event for your to switch to Bristol Pounds. Plus, we’re also doing a talk at 12.45. See you there! More info here.indies-in-bristol-poster-web-620px 
  5. Bristol Pound Trail – as part of the Indies in Bristol event, we’ve put together a pretty special little trail for you to follow – it’s a neat little trip in and around St Nick’s Market. Start at Beast Clothing to pick up your Bristol Pounds (they’re a ‘cash point’) – you can switch Sterling notes, pay on card or withdraw from your Bristol Pound account. Then visit a bunch of businesses waiting to give you discounts and offers if you use Bristol Pounds! More info here.bristol-pound-trail-banner-620px 

It’s easier than ever to do the Bristol Pound Christmas Challenge this year – so let’s change our money, change the world and have ourselves a jolly good time doing it.

Adam and the Bristol Pound team

 

A very warm welcome to Bristol’s own energy company: Bristol Energy

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That’s right, Bristol is now the first city to have both its own money and its own energy company!

It gets better: Bristol Energy is a force for social good, a gas and electricity company that will reinvest its profits straight back into the city, supporting essential services and local communities. It’s the first of its kind in the South West. We’re chuffed to bits to come together with Bristol Energy and work to keep money circulating locally, protecting Bristol jobs and creating a fairer, greener local economy.

Peter Haigh, Managing Director of Bristol Energy, had this to say:

“We believe energy companies have the power to make a positive difference. If you pay your bills with Bristol Energy, your money doesn’t just disappear into the pockets of private shareholders, it will help us to support your city. As a Bristol-born company we’re very proud to offer our customers the chance to pay in Bristol Pounds, helping even more of the money made in the city, stay local to the city.”

So, now you can pay for Bristol Energy using Bristol Pounds. But it gets even better than that. When you switch electric and gas quoting BPOUND001, Bristol Energy will give you £B20 and give us £B10! (Or £B10 for you and £B5 for us for one fuel)

Switch now and be the change we all need!

Click here for the full info on how to make the switch and how to pay your bills in Bristol Pounds

Bringing Bristol Pound to Massive Attack at the Downs

IMG_277127,000 Bristolians braved the storm on Saturday to watch Massive Attack perform at the Downs and we were very proud to be there promoting a fairer economy to soggy gig-goers. We sold a whopping £B4,284; breaking the record for most cash in one day since our launch in 2012.

The ethos of the festival was political, outlining the 21st century chaos of Brexit, racism, plight of refugees and growing inequality. We felt really encouraged by the response from the crowd, who listened and understood our message; if we change money, we can change the world.

So massive thanks to Team Love for inviting us to be the official currency of the festival. Also, a thanks to Fairphone for being our card payment tech and to Bristol Wood Recycling Project for pallets that were our ‘bank’ counter. Most of all a huge thank you to Bristol for being such a progressive, open minded city looking for a fairer, more equal future.

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The August system upgrade and how to reset your online account password and PIN

Like any piece of equipment, the Bristol Pound’s online system occasionally needs a bit of essential maintenance. The system is used by Bristol Credit Union to look after all the Bristol Pound personal and business accounts, and to manage payments.

On 9 August our technical teams upgraded the Bristol Pound system.

Following the upgrade your login password and text payment PIN number will need to be reset. This is a quick and simple process – and it’s described below.

Important changes
We’ll let you know all about the added features over the next few months – if you don’t discover them yourself first. In the meantime, we’ve updated our online guides to reflect the upgrades. Click the links to learn more:

How to log in to your account – now with automated ‘reset your password‘ link
Setting up regular payments – with brand new recurring payments function
Paying your council tax – you can now set up variable instalments to allow for that pesky higher payment in April!
Paying your business rates – now with much higher maximum payment

The Bristol Pound App
Sadly, there has been a slight (and temporary) casualty of the changeover: the Bristol Pound app has lost a bit of its functionality. You can no longer log in to the app, which means you can’t check your balance or make online payments. However, you can still use the app to:

  • locate businesses and cash points
  • find information on businesses
  • see special offers
  • make text payments

Withdrawing paper Bristol Pounds direct from your online account
When withdrawing paper notes from cash points you must now use the text command ‘exc’. So, assuming you want £B50, your PIN is 1234 and you’re at the Tobacco Factory you would write:

exc 1234 access6tobfac 50

Resetting your password

Go to www.bristolpound.org/login Click on the ‘Click here to reset your login password’ link in the bottom right hand corner Bristol Pound login page Enter your login name or the email address you used to sign up for the account.
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You’ll receive an email with a link to reset your password. Make sure to check you junk or spam folders. Click on the link, which takes you to the reset password screen. Set your new password. Make it memorable and secure. Bristol Pound password reset Success! Now login using your new password and your username (if you’ve forgotten it, it’s in the email you just received). Next you need to reset your 4 digit security PIN.

Reset your PIN number

Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be prompted to reset your PIN. Click on the ‘Click here to proceed’ button. Bristol Pound password reset Click on ‘Create’ next to PIN. Bristol Pound PIN reset Set your new four digit PIN. Bristol Pound PIN resetThat’s it – your new password and PIN have been set. Now you can explore the new online account system. Bristol Pound PIN reset This upgrade means we’re offering the most up to date and secure technology available. It will also bring some new features to make using the Bristol Pound even easier. If you’re having any trouble, call the Bristol Pound team on 0117 929 8642 or email the Bristol Credit Union team on bristolpound@bristolcreditunion.org.uk

Two New Roles at Bristol Pound – with Business and Community in mind

Hiring

Behind the big blue Bristol Pound sign, there’s a highly motivated, forward-thinking team, busying away with running campaigns, strengthening relationships and generally administering the daily running of the currency.

The team is evolving and we are currently seeking passionate and innovative folk to join us. We’re after a Business Relationship Manager and a Community Liaison Manager. These are key roles for the organisation and will both focus on their specialism while also working with the rest of the team to coordinate Bristol’s exciting local currency.

Intrigued? Pop over to the jobs page and have a look at the full descriptions. The application window for both roles is open up to the 5th of August with interviews being held in the week beginning 15th August.

Bristol Pound jobs page

Bristol Pound are hiring – Can you lead a growing team delivering a ground breaking project?

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Bristol Pound CIC operates a high profile local currency in Bristol and collaborates with a range of partners in the UK and overseas to develop and deliver other local currencies and related economic interventions.

We’re looking for more paid staff to join us. All the roles will be posted at bristolpound.org/jobs and below is the latest.

Programme Manager

We have a highly motivated staff team running the Bristol Pound supported by a Board of both paid executive and voluntary directors. We are undertaking pioneering work and going through rapid change and this requires adaptive and agile thinking and management.

The organisation emerged out of a mainly voluntary team in 2012 and now has 6+ FTE staff. We are set to expand further up to 15 FTE staff in order to launch and operate a new business credit service in Bristol, delivered along with the existing Bristol Pound local currency.

The Programme Manager will project manage the delivery of the Bristol Pound currency and our new business credit service, and line-manage the staff team tasked with the delivery of these innovative projects.

About you

You will be experienced and comfortable working with, and communicating with, a diverse range of people, with a demonstrable track record of leading a team. You will understand why the Bristol Pound exists and want to be an integral part of building the local currency and other local economic alternatives to help create a fairer and greener economy.

Here are the details

Salary: Circa £35,000
Reports to: Nominated Director/Exec Team
Direct reports: Delivery team of 5+ FTE staff: back office, sales and communications staff
Days: 5 days a week – 40 hours
Location: Bristol Pound office, Corn Exchange, Bristol City Centre

More information and application process

Head to our jobs page and download the job description/role profile.

To apply for the post please send a CV and covering letter by email to info@bristolpound.org. Please put the text “Application for Programme Manager Post” in the subject of the email. Applications for this post must be submitted by email no later than 3rd July 2016.

If you are shortlisted for interview, we will contact you by email to let you know the date and times of interview. We expect interviews to be held in the week commencing 11th July 2016 and will last up to 1 hour.