C-U Businesses to Accept Special Currency
By Sean Powers
In the next couple of months, several businesses in the Champaign-Urbana area will begin accepting currency that you won’t be able to use anywhere else.
The idea behind the specialty money, known as UC Smiles, is to provide a boost to the local economy. Tracy Satterthwaite is helping spearhead the effort. She manages Kickapoo Landing in Oakwood, which is participating in the currency program.
Satterthwaite said each UC Smile is equivalent to one dollar, and so far, she said about two dozen businesses have agreed to accept the currency.
“So, these are stores that are only locally owned and operated stores, and the idea is to get people to be aware of where their dollars are going, keeps more of the money in the community, keep it from going to the hands of big corporations,” Satterthwaite said.
Satterthwaite said some businesses accepting the currency will offer discounts and other incentives.
The UC Smiles will be rolled out on Nov. 1 as part of a pilot project, and they will be available at Strawberry Fields and International Galleries in downtown Urbana.