LETS can help a wide cross-section of the community -- individuals, small businesses, local services and voluntary groups -- to save money and resources and extend their purchasing power. Other benefits include social contact, health care, tuition and training, support for local enterprise and new businesses, and a revitalised community.
One goal of this approach is to stimulate the economies of economically depressed towns that have goods and services, but little official currency: the LETS scheme does not require outside sources of income as stimulus.
An estimated 20,000 people are now trading in over 400 LETS networks in cities, towns, and rural communities in the UK, everywhere from Cornwall to Skye, or Western Ireland to Kent. LETS currencies have their own names, and often reflect local distinctiveness: Readies in Reading, Locks in Camden Town, Groats in Stirling, New Berries in Newbury, Piers in Southend-on-Sea.
The Basics of LETS
Unlike direct barter, with LETS members can earn credits from any member and spend them with anyone else on the scheme.