By Lisa Bingham
Economics is all about connecting our needs or wants with resources. Most of us associate that exchange as happening with the exchange of dollars for goods, but there are alternatives. I attended a fascinating session at the BALLE conference last week called “Bartering and Complimentary Currencies.” This was a new concept for me, but I discovered that it is an idea that we are all more familiar than we might suspect. Think of movie tickets, stocks, and stamps, which are all alternate forms of currency that we use on a regular basis to obtain goods and services that we want or need.
Annette Riggs, founder and Managing Director of Community Connect Trade Association (CCTA), spoke about b-to-b trade credits. CCTA facilitates the exchange of goods and services between businesses, from which companies can earn trade credits, and provides a central marketplace through their website. There are some caveats to the program, however. Not all businesses are a good fit, as they need to provide some good or service that is needed by other participating programs, and there are some tax issues that participants should be aware of. Still, these b-to-b exchanges allow participating businesses to reserve their capital for other expenses, which is especially helpful for small businesses that may be suffering from a paucity of cash. Click to continue reading »