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Washington State town prints own 'wooden' currency amid pandemic downturn04:45

Washington State town prints own 'wooden' currency amid pandemic downturn

United States, Tenino
July 18, 2020 at 08:59 GMT -00:00 · Published

Tenino, a small town of 1,800 just south of Seattle, has started printing its own currency on thin planks of wood to help those hit the hardest from the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus crisis, as shown in footage from Friday.

Residents can apply for financial assistance and receive the currency - named Tenino Wooden Money - which can then be used around town for almost any kind of goods and services barring "alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, lottery tickets," said Tenino Mayor Wayne Fourier.

The bills are made of wood veneer and feature a portrait of President George Washington next to a Latin inscription that signifies "We've got it under control."

Creating new currency is not a new feat in the Washington town, with city officials already having implemented a similar programme between 1931 and 1933, at the height of the Great Depression.

Printed in bills that are nominally worth $25 (€22), the Wooden Money can only be used within the town's limits, with residents being eligible to get up to $300 (€263) per person. "The business can then use the money, circulate it to other businesses and individuals, or they can come into the city and exchange it one to one for the US dollar," Fourier said.

"We've seen some of these bills come through," a Tenino supermarket worker said. "They seem to have filled the gap that was needed with the crisis we are in right now and people that need a little bit of assistance."

Washington State town prints own 'wooden' currency amid pandemic downturn04:45
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Tenino, a small town of 1,800 just south of Seattle, has started printing its own currency on thin planks of wood to help those hit the hardest from the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus crisis, as shown in footage from Friday.

Residents can apply for financial assistance and receive the currency - named Tenino Wooden Money - which can then be used around town for almost any kind of goods and services barring "alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, lottery tickets," said Tenino Mayor Wayne Fourier.

The bills are made of wood veneer and feature a portrait of President George Washington next to a Latin inscription that signifies "We've got it under control."

Creating new currency is not a new feat in the Washington town, with city officials already having implemented a similar programme between 1931 and 1933, at the height of the Great Depression.

Printed in bills that are nominally worth $25 (€22), the Wooden Money can only be used within the town's limits, with residents being eligible to get up to $300 (€263) per person. "The business can then use the money, circulate it to other businesses and individuals, or they can come into the city and exchange it one to one for the US dollar," Fourier said.

"We've seen some of these bills come through," a Tenino supermarket worker said. "They seem to have filled the gap that was needed with the crisis we are in right now and people that need a little bit of assistance."

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