Bartering System Aims to Help Small Green Businesses Beat Recession

Bartering System Aims to Help Small Green Businesses Beat Recession

In this increasingly gloomy economic situation, companies are seeking any number of ways to cut costs, and a new service launched yesterday by Green America hopes to help small green businesses move products while meeting their own needs.

The barter system developed at the Green America Exchange (GAEx) is a free service for all members of the Green America Business Network, and lets businesses with excess supply of goods or services barter for things they need.

"Our goal is to put the green back in greenbacks by developing a complementary currency that promotes trade between America's sustainable and socially responsible enterprises," said Green America's Executive Director Alisa Gravitz in a statement. "The Green America Exchange is so much more than a simple barter arrangement; it will help the small businesses at the heart of America's green economy make additional sales, gain new customers, conserve cash, support fellow green businesses, and purchase the products and services they need all in the same place."

Members of the Business Network can already start trading goods, although the site officially kicks off nationwide next week. Already on offer from members include carbon neutral web hosting, advertising space in Mother Jones magazine, and organic foods.

There are slightly more items in the wanted list at this point, including requests for office supplies, web development and advertising opportunities.

"By turning un-sold goods, un-booked appointments and under-utilized space into a liquid currency, the Exchange facilitates trades that wouldn't have otherwise happened in our cash-strapped economy," Green America Exchange Project Manager Keaty Gross said in a statement. "So on top of GAEx's potential to strengthen the green economy as a whole, it is also a profitable venture for each participating business."

Barter transactions include a 6 percent transaction fee to ensure management and oversight of the system. And members of the Exchange can upgrade to a premium account that includes a personal broker to help connect companies with bartering partners.