Buying locally has its advantages. It has the potential to shorten the supply chain, thereby diminishing environmental impact due to transportation. And it boosts local economic activity, which has a positive effect on community building.
CMee can be adapted to incentivise local spending.
A Local Version
The prominent way this is done with other complementary currencies is by making sure spending can only be done locally. For CMee this means a local version needs be to created where the basic income can only be spent in local shops. If this option is chosen it needs to be determined how much basic income will be given out for local spending and how high the saving limit needs to be.
Rewarding Local Spending
There is another, less forceful, option too. Since CMee is a digital monetary system, spending habits can be tracked (making sure privacy is protected) and therefore local spending can be rewarded. This could be done through a bonus to the basic income.
For example, if someone spends at least 5% of their monthly expenses in local shops they could receive a 1% bonus to their basic income. And for every 10% extra they’d receive another 1% bonus. If they spend 95% or more locally they could receive a 10% bonus.
Now a local supermarket might not be contributing to shorter supply chains. But that could also be solved. Where a business spends its money to get supplies could be looked at too. And based on that they could get a rating. The more they spend locally, the higher their rating. Say the rating is between 1 and 100, equal to the percentage of their budget they spend locally. Then that rating can be used to calculate the bonus buyers get by shopping in their stores. This then incentivises shops to buy locally in order to attract customers.
Let’s take Jane for example. She spends 900 Circular Coins (CC) in a month and there are 3 shops in town where she spends them:
- The butcher, rating 75%
- The baker, rating 50%
- The local supermarket, rating 10%
Say she spends 300 CC in each store. Her spending is 100% local but she won’t get the full bonus because the ratings of the shops are not at 100%. Her bonus would be calculated as follows:
75% or 225 CCof her spending at the butcher is considered to be local spending. For the baker it would be 50% or 150 CC and at the local supermarket it would only be 10% or 30 CC. In total she would then have spent 405 CC locally. This is 45% of her total budget so, using the reward scheme above, she would receive a 5% bonus to her basic income.
Even when not shopping locally a bonus could still be given, say half of what you would get locally, when people shop at short supply chain stores. When they are on holiday for example.
This creates incentives for people to shop locally or at least at short supply chain stores when they don’t shop locally. Shops would be encouraged to shorten their supply chain. And all without forcing or limiting anyone. It has no substantial impact on the total monetary mass because it only introduces a variability in the basic income within predefined limits.