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Some cities have their own local currency

Local currencies were popular during the Great Depression but in the past few decades, several U.S. cities have started their own local currencies as a way to help small businesses and keep currency circulating in the local economy.

The recent trend is thought to have started in Ithaca, NY. In 1991, then-resident Paul Glover and a group of fellow residents created Ithaca Hours.One Ithaca Hour is worth $10 and there are also smaller and larger denominations. It’s called an hour to remind people that currency represents someone’s labor. Today, there are over $100,000 worth of Ithaca Hours in circulation.

Madison, Wis., Corvallis, Ore. and Traverse City, Mich., are among the other cities that have implemented local currencies.

Photo: Ithacahours.org