There are plans afoot to create a local currency for the Hudson Valley known as the Hudson Valley Current. (The publisher of the Chronogram is one of the backers of the initiative, which is being spearheaded by a nascent nonprofit called the Center for Civil Economics.) According to the project's website, the idea is to provide the buy-local movement with some real economic teeth:
Local currencies were largely used in the United States in the early 1900’s and Depression years, and are again being utilized as a tool for economic recovery and longterm sustainable economic development ... The Current will not, and is not intended to, replace federal currency. Its use will help strengthen our sense of economic community, building the regional economy by enhancing locally owned businesses, local manufacturing, and local jobs. In doing so, we reduce the region's dependence on an unpredictable global or national economy. We increase economic security and lower transportation costs by sourcing locally. And we increase the prosperity and wellbeing of the whole region. In this way, a local currency can be a contribution to global sustainability for the human family.
David McCarthy, one of the three men behind the Current, told Kingston Citizens today that he expects the new currency to be up and running this year:
We are working to get most of the groundwork laid down this summer, with a launch in late 2010. The determining factors in that timeline will be, (in no particular order), the design process for the bills, financial support to print the bills and adminsister the project, and volunteer help in all areas of the project.
That quote makes it sound like the Current is still in need of a design for its bills. Local artists, it's your chance! The design guidelines are here.