STAUNTON -- An alternative economy group hit 150 members on Tuesday. “hOUR Economy,” founded by the Staunton Creative Community Group,” is a way for startups and small businesses to exchange their services for others. The group exchanges hours of services for those of other members in the economy.
The alternative economy is far more advanced than the traditional barter system. No money is ever exchanged.
Rather than exchanging services on a one to one basis, members can use hours with any member of the economy on their website.
For example, New Beginnings Farm needed a new counter top. John Matheney, the owner of New Beginnings, bought the materials and used hours of service to have his counter built by a master carpenter.
This system can save small businesses considerable money, and even offer better insight into their strengths.
“Everybody rises up to an equal level, so we're able to really kind of have a look inside and see what we're good at and what we need and not be afraid to ask someone who we think we might not be able to afford or we may not be able to get access to because of the monetary system that we're in,” said Executive Director of the Creative Community Fund Christina Cain.
The group believes the economy can help create a close-knit community for local businesses.
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