Times are as tough as any in memory, with the housing market crash, the credit crunch, the high cost of gasoline, and rising food prices.
As dollars disappear, we in Ithaca are lucky to have a complementary currency system, the Ithaca Hours system, providing a cash-money alternative to dollars for spending and earning.
Over $100,000 worth of Ithaca Hours notes are in circulation, in denominations equivalent to one, five, ten, and twenty dollars. You earn them by joining the system, which provides a listing in the Hours Directory for your business, or any goods and services you might offer.
Membership costs $10. Along with your Directory listing, you get two Hours, worth $20, as an annual benefit. So you make money right away by joining.
Members include brick-and-mortar businesses, various professionals, tradespeople, and moonlighters. You can bolster your existing business, start a new one, or turn your skills into income.
Members include well-known businesses such as Ithaca Bakery, Alternatives Credit Union, the House of Shalimar, Significant Elements, ABC Cafe, Maxie's, Sparrow's Wines, Autumn Leaves Books, the Bookery, GreenStar, Ten Thousand Villages, Alta Spa, Ithaca Guitar Works, the Frame Shop, 544 Productions website design, Small World Music, and the Ithaca Health Alliance.
Lately, some prominent members have reduced the amount of Ithaca Hours they take per transaction. It's a logical reaction to the dollar crunch. It stands to reason, though, that the dollar crunch will get worse before it gets better, and that Hours will become increasingly important and vital for expanding business.
Check the Hours website, http://www.ithacahours.org/, for more information. Or feel free to call or visit Small World Music for details: 256-0428, at 614 W. State St.
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