Best Bang for the Buck - 2009
Waves were made in July when local artist/designer/anti-establishment thinker Joey Grether pumped out a local currency called Phx Bux. The small metal tokens are worth a dollar each and accepted by more than 20 independent businesses. The idea is to keep the money moving locally and draw the attention of consumers who may be tired of shopping at malls and eating at chain restaurants. The coins themselves are a work of art. Designed by Chadwick Rueling jewelry, the square token features an outstretched palm, signifying the reliance on artists' hands for their creations and the helping hands of our arts community. Trouble is, Phx Bux got so popular so fast that folks started hoarding the coins and making them into jewelry. Within the first month, we were hard-pressed to get more than one at a time from any of the businesses that still had any, making it pretty clear that demand for this currency is high.