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At the beginning, the WIR business circle was in no way limited to the commercial middle class (Mittelstand). There were farmers, civil servants and white-collar workers who became participants in WIR. They paid cash into the account, and after having been credited a bonus of 5 % could go shopping with WIR. But it was mainly the interest free WIR-credit for extra buying power that served to stimulate the slow turnover of goods. Following free money theory the clearing credits were kept interest-free, thus stifling any tendency to hoard WIR credits. Soon many communities had information offices where volunteers worked for the WIR ideal. Many local groups were founded, one of the first on January 30, 1935 in Zurich.
Figures for 1973 / 1993
Number of participants 20,402 / 76,618
Turnover 196 mill. / 2.521 bill.
Balance 83 mill. / 1.028 bill.
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