- 5 new retail businesses open in Totnes main street; Ernie’s repair services for electrical appliances, EcoAware eco-gadgets with wind-up radios, solar torches and smart meters (also an outlet for Beco’s solar panels), Grappling with Grapes (requisites for home brewers), Computer Exchange & Retrofit and Totnes Natural Building Supplies
- Totnes Times runs a series of articles on how local society can benefit from supporting local businesses, they benefit too from increased advertising.
- Local tradesmen and women are adding energy saving retrofitting to their skills and getting a lot of work as plumbers installing solar hot water systems, electricians fitting PV units and builders improving internal and external insulation on walls and filling cavity walls. Many are so confident of the instant benefits that they invite their customers to pay them over six months. Some tradespersons are helping people to complete their grant applications to encourage work.
- Farmers and individuals are investing in land to let for allotments and smallholdings. Some are offering greenhouse space for rental too. The average return is about 25% and the market for people wanting allotments is growing.
- Totnes becomes a Fair Trade Town – Local and Global. Most of the businesses in Fore St and High St agree to sell only goods that have been bought at fair prices from the producers.
- The new Totnes Pound is launched, in £T1, 5, 10 and 20 denominations . The new launch is supported by Totnes Chamber of Commerce, and by South Hams District Council, as a way of supporting a local economy that is starting to struggle as the recession deepens. The notes are printed on DeLaRue Bank paper, and feature prominent historical local people on the notes, Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst gracing the £5 note. Many hundreds are snapped up by collectors within the first few days of the launch. The new notes stimulate pride in the Totnes Pound, with many taxi drivers accepting them, and a surge in trading across the area.
- TTT hosts another business swap shop to help businesses save money and reuse unwanted or spoilt goods. The event identifies a much wider wide range of interests and items to exchange than before and decides to link in with Totnes Online Swap Shop Forum
Policy Makers & Service Providers
- South Hams DC and Devon County Council issue the first Green Bonds to private investors to the value of £250k. The funds generated are to be invested in local projects to reduce energy consumption and support renewable energy production in the area.
- National election manifestos of political parties set out broad economic policies aimed specifically at delivering well-being for people and demonstrate how this can also deliver high employment and public services. A carbon army of jobs of high and low-skilled workers is to be established to revitalise the UK economy and prepare the country for a low-carbon economy, as part of the Green New Deal introduced by Government. Green procurement policies for all public spending are to be initiated.
- The global economy fails to reach IMF estimates of 2% growth, used as a benchmark at G20 London Summit in 2009. IMF request for additional funding for its 2011 quotas meets with concerns about global mismanagement. “The US economy needs a rethink, we have come to the end of the line with economic growth, the time has come to look to the national and possibly the local economies to create a circle of investment and market stimulation” says President Obama. Revisiting its agreement on protectionism, the G20 summit agrees to some measures to support local economies and local trading.
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