John Porter, CEO of BarterPay standing outside of their office.

Transformation: BarterPay offers alternative commerce for businesses paralyzed by COVID-19

This article appeared on by Jon Wells. To view the original post click here.

John Porter of BarterPay, an economic system of barter exchange for business.Bartering is the oldest form of commerce, but the time has never seemed more ripe for it with businesses paralyzed by COVID-19.

No one is more aware of the situation than John Porter, whose career as a barter commerce entrepreneur goes back 24 years, and whose Stoney Creek company, BarterPay, started two years ago.

The pandemic is so devastating, with business inventories and cash flow at a standstill, that Porter wondered if he should even press ahead promoting his brand. “In the last few weeks I consulted mentors and they told me not to hold back,” he said. “This is my time to help a ton of people.”

BarterPay offers a platform for businesses to exchange goods and services — trading their “spare capacity” — without cash changing hands.

In a normal economy, businesses carry surplus product and service capacity, but the pandemic shutdown has exacerbated the situation to an unprecedented degree.

Porter offers an example of how his service works: Last fall, a greenhouse in St. Catharines had thousands of unsold plants destined for compost. But when they joined BarterPay, excess plants were “purchased” with BarterPay credits by members on the platform from golf courses to landscapers.

The greenhouse, in turn, banked credits to acquire goods of value to their business.

He said BarterPay credits are assigned a monetary value — one Canadian dollar for each credit — for accounting and tax purposes. In addition, BarterPay members have the option of using credits to donate as part of the BarterPay It Forward foundation, the company’s charitable wing.

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