An electronic complementary currency, the WIR Franc is part of the new WIR Bank which has served small businesses in Switzerland since 1934. The Bank was formerly called the WIR Economic Circle Cooperative, the acronym representing the German abbreviation of “we,” emphasizing the community- centered tool. Founded by two men seeking to remedy the devastating effects of the Great Depression, the WIR is a non-interest-bearing currency which intends to “create prosperity and prevent unemployment.” Pegged to the value of the Swiss France, the WIR Franc’s bartering system was created specifically for small to medium businesses, to facilitate trading during economic recessions. Beginning with just 16 members, the asset-backed currency now serves over 60,000 participants. WIR is now inviting the general public to benefit from the cooperative system. Learn how the business coop evolved into a community bank by clicking here!
Rather than focusing on a particular business for this month’s Business Spotlight, Equal Dollars would like to remind all of our members to buy local this holiday season! There are dozens of great businesses within the Equal Dollars’ network, as well as hundreds more businesses throughout Philadelphia, which are owned and operated by local entrepreneurs. During this holiday shopping season, Equal Dollars wants to remind our members that buying your holiday gifts at these small businesses is like making an investment in the city of Philadelphia as well as your own community.
Equal Dollars created our Keepin’ It Local Campaign to educate our members about the benefits of spending locally and to encourage them to give back to their communities through service work and shopping locally. When you make a purchase from a locally-owned business rather than patronizing a larger chain retailer, a larger percentage of the money you spend stays in your neighborhood as opposed to being shipped off to a corporate office in a remote location. In fact, recent studies estimate that when you buy local, 45 cents of every dollar you spend will be reinvested locally, as opposed to only 15 cents for every dollar spent at a corporate chain store.
That means that out of every dollar you spend at a small business during your holiday shopping, a larger percentage will go to support the schools, community centers, and other local businesses in that neighborhood. Keep this in mind while you’re out shopping over the next few weeks and enjoy your holiday season! And to check out the businesses that support and participate in the Equal Dollars program, click here.
During the holiday season, it’s important to think about all the things we’re thankful for and try and give back to those less fortunate in any way we can. In that spirit, Equal Dollars and our partners at the Ray of Hope Project got together this year to organize our first ever Equal Dollars Holiday Toy Drive. This drive collected new and gently used toys to benefit children ages 1-12 in the Frankford neighborhood of Northeast Philadelphia.
Ray of Hope and several other community organizations in the area had been planning a toy drive of their own to go along with a holiday dinner and community meal taking place on Saturday, December 21st at a local church. Equal Dollars was honored to be invited by these organizations to participate in these holiday festivities and help give back to a community where we hope to accomplish a lot in the coming year.
We put the word out to our members that we were looking for toys for kids in this community, and as usual, Equal Dollars’ amazing volunteers and friends stepped up to answer the bell. We collected over 100 new and gently used toys including toy cars, coloring books and crayons, dolls and action figures, puzzles, stuffed animals and much more. We would like to sincerely thank everyone that helped us spread the holiday spirit this year; your generosity will make the season brighter for children living in Frankford. Stay tuned for more upcoming donation drives from Equal Dollars and enjoy your holiday!
Equal Dollars and our partners in Strawberry Mansion are proud to announce our first ever Kwanzaa celebration luncheon! Come join us at Mander Playground (2140 N. 33rd St) at 11 am for music, dancing and delicious food cooked by caring residents of the Strawberry Mansion community. This luncheon will celebrate the third principle of Kwanzaa, Ujima: collective work and responsibility, by bringing together friends, families and neighbors to share in a free community pot-luck meal. The afternoon will also feature plenty of dancing, singing, music and discussion on the spirit of Kwanzaa as well as the importance of eating healthy.
Our volunteer chefs will be creating home-made meals to share with the community that are both delicious and nutritious and will show residents the benefits of eating healthy instead of patronizing the many quick, unhealthy options around the neighborhood. We hope that this event will bring the community together and encourage more residents to begin cooking and sharing their recipes with one another. We hope to see you on Saturday the 28th at 11am, this event is free and open to all!
The holiday season has officially arrived, which means it’s time to look back on the year and take stock of all the things we have to be grateful for. However, for many families in Philadelphia, the holidays aren’t always such a joyful time. In fact, it can be a struggle for some parents to provide their children with the food, toys and clothing that we associate with this time of year. Because of this, Equal Dollars is working with several community organizations in the Frankford neighborhood to help make the holiday season a little brighter for kids ages 1-12 and their families.
Help us spread holiday cheer by donating a new toy to our Equal Dollars Holiday Toy Drive! For every new toy you contribute to the Drive, we will say “Thank You!” with a gratuity of 10 Equal Dollars. You can bring your donations to the Equal Dollars desk at our Central Office (4700 Wissahickon Ave., Suite 126) or to the Iglesia Del Barrio Church located at 240 E. Cambria St. Please get your donations in before December 16th, and thank you in advance for your help in making this Toy Drive a success!