Mendo Moola: Ukiah Businesses Create Local Money


Three local business are now creating and circulating our own local currency, Mendo Moola: Oco Time Japanese Cuisine, Mulligan Books, and Ukiah Brewing Company. The Mendo Moola Blog explains how and why a local currency works. Almost 20 other locally-owned businesses in Mendocino County, listed on the blog, accept and trade Mendo Moola as payment for goods and services; they include Local Flavor Bake House, Paula’s Hair Salon, Westside Renaissance Market, Mendocino Bounty, Mendocino Lavender Farm, Incognito Fun Store, and RespecTech.

Money connects buyers and sellers. Communities across the country and around the world are issuing local currencies, as they have for many years, to protect themselves against recessions, depressions, bank failures, tight money, credit crunches, risk aversion, hoarding, and leakage that dries up the money supply, kills jobs, and destroys local economies. The more money that is available to be used locally and kept circulating locally,the more jobs are created and the more a local community becomes prosperous and sustainable economically.

During the Great Depression, more than 5,000 local currencies helped keep Americans alive. Over the past two decades, over 2,500 local currencies have sprung up nationally.

Over the past 50 years, the expansion of national businesses into local domestic markets, and now the Internet, has diverted and redirected circulating money to centralized corporate coffers. ‘Leakage’ occurs when, every night, money spent that day in chain stores and franchises is sucked out of our community electronically to their headquarters elsewhere. There it is spent on large capital expenditures, overseas goods, executive salaries, loan repayments, and dividends to Wall Street investors. This colonizing and interception of funds has depleted local small towns across our nation, especially in rural areas, of an important source of money: recirculated income.

Mendo Moola is a local, self-help, complementary currency that stays home with us here in Mendocino County, and is circulated only within Mendocino County. It is accepted in payment, and returned as change by participating, locally-owned farms and businesses, and can be used to purchase products, buy a beer and a good meal, give as gifts, pay babysitters, and hire landscapers. Sales tax is collected and paid as required..

By using Mendo Moola in trade — face-to-face, hand-to-hand — we are using money that never leaves our community as it does when using U.S. dollars and Credit Cards, thus facilitating additional exchanges in the local economy and making it possible to match unmet needs with unused resources. The more it changes hands and the faster it circulates, the more local jobs, local businesses, and common wealth are created. $5 in Mendo Moola that changes hands 10 times in a month, is worth $50 in goods and services to the local economy.

If you are concerned, as I am, about the future prosperity, let alone survival, of our towns and county, this is one way to keep locally-owned businesses, trades persons, and artisans, alive and thriving.

These are first steps taken by locally-owned businesses that hopefully lead to producing our own paper money.

We encourage locally-owned farms and businesses to accept in payment, and give change, in Mendo Moola. Local currencies work best with continued use in local transactions between locally-owned businesses and neighbors. Ask local shops to accept it, ask for it in change, give it as gifts, and spend it first when you have it.

Make your money count… more than once.