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A New Money System Is Being Used At Some Local Stores

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Money other than U.S. currency may soon be circulating in an area near you. They're called BNotes and they were unveiled Friday.

Andrea Fujii explains why supporters say they're so important and how you can get your hands on some.

It may look like play money, but it's real.

Baltimore Notes or BNotes were unveiled in Hampden.

It's an alternative currency created by nonprofit group Baltimore Green Currency Association. Its goal is to promote local business and can only be used at businesses that accept them, like Breathe Books.

"It keeps everything circulating right here, which creates greater health and wealth in our community," said Susan Weis-Bohlen, Breathe Books.

"It's really money that can be used locally to support small independent businesses and it keeps our wealth local," said Jeff Dicken, Baltimore Green Currency Association.

Consumers can start using BNotes in April. Right now about 30 Baltimore area businesses have signed on to accept them.

Another benefit of using the green currency is the exchange rate. For $10 in U.S. currency, customers can get $11 in BNotes.

Supporters say there is no disadvantage to using them.

"This is really to make people think about where people spend their money. Do they want it to be spent at big chain stores and be drawn out of their community?" said Dicken.

To skeptics they say there's nothing wrong in trying to build up the little guy for the good of all.

BNotes are legal. It's only illegal to mint coins.

To find or purchase BNotes, click here.

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