Bernal Bucks: Supporting Small Businesses

The other day a friend of mine introduced me to an amazing “secondary” economy concept that was actually put into action out in San Francisco. The residents of Bernal Heights dreamed up Bernal Bucks, and a secondary market designed to help local small businesses was born.

The way Bernal Bucks works is simple. If you’re a Bernal Bucks cardholder, you can earn 5% cash back from any participating Bernal Heights business in the form of Bernal Bucks, which can only be spent at other participating businesses in the neighborhood. Essentially creating a 5% discount on all products in the neighborhood for that neighborhood’s residents. It gives a little bit of relief to consumers, and rewards them for shopping local. Brilliant!

Small businesses rely on local traffic to survive. Many times small businesses look across the street and see competitors, but in the case of Bernal Heights, small businesses have embraced the idea of looking across the street and seeing a strategic partner. It benefits local business as opposed to large brands that people could shop at in the area or online.

Its ideas like this on a larger scale that could really impact our economy, and give a much needed boost to small businesses around the country. Congrats to the creators, I’m your newest fan!