Screen Shot 2020 04 27 At 1 09 54 Pm

Trade Warrants in Depression Era Santa Cruz

By Frank Perry

This article is part of the MAH’s Online History Journal, a collection of original research on local history. Dive deep into Santa Cruz County history in this ever- growing forum and start creating your own.

Santa Cruz has not felt the depression so keenly as have numerous other California cities. . . Without so severe a problem to meet here, it would be well to be very careful about trying any plan of this sort. … Santa Cruz Sentinel, 1933


What is a cash strapped city to do in order to provide payment to workers? In the 1930s Santa Cruz began a warrant program, more commonly known as “script.” The motivation was to provide jobs to reduce the number of unemployed, fund local public works, and increase trade at participating businesses.

Read the Full Article
Keep Reading

How did trade warrants served as an example of ingenuity during a time of economic hardship?