Ithaca Blog

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Ithaca Hours: A New Year for Ithaca's Own Money

2007 is the 16th year of operation for Ithaca Hours, the town's own money. Hours is preparing for the new year with its new annual Directory of members and participating businesses.

The idea behind Hours is simple. Like most Americans, most Ithacans live paycheck to paycheck, with not much extra. It doesn't mean people don't have resources and skills, and it sure doesn't mean they don't have needs. There's just not enough cash around to connect them.

That's where Hours comes in. Hours is a currency that looks and works just like cash money. You get them by becoming a member. Annual membership costs one Hour - or ten dollars. For that, you get two Ithaca Hours to spend locally. You also get a listing in the Directory for goods or services you can offer, for which you will accept some payment in Hours.

Some of the most prominent establishments in town accept Ithaca Hours: the public library, GreenStar Co-op, Ithaca Bakery, Autumn Leaves Books, The Bookery, Small World Music, Ten Thousand Villages, House of Shalimar, Sparrow's Wines and Liquors, Finger Lakes Beverage Center, The Frame Shop, Blue Spruce Painting and Decorating, Significant Elements, Renovus Energy, Ithaca Guitar Works, Macro Mama's, Maxie's, Viva Tacqueria, ABC Cafe, Graphic Touch Design and Illustration, 544 Productions Website Design, the Ithaca Health Alliance, Dr. Diane Reppert, Dr. David Cederbaum, Cayuga Medical Center, and hundreds more.

There are over $100,000 in Hours in circulation. Hours help people to supplement their incomes, and help businesses attract and retain customers.

Hours attract interest and visitors from all over the world, including the Japanese government, ABC News, Forbes Magazine, and many others.

Many visitors to Ithaca who are familiar with Hours before they arrive wonder why not everyone Ithaca uses Hours. If you are among these, this is a good time to find out about Hours, and to join. Hours is still in the process of putting together the 2007 print Directory, and it's not too late to be included. Check for more information.

The most recent media attention for Hours comes from the current issue of Communities magazine. Ithaca Blog will publish part of their coverage in a posting soon to come.

Stephen Burke
for Ithaca Blog

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