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SMEs utilise barter system

SMALL businesses are turning to Australia's largest barter exchange as a way of preserving cash flow, selling excess stock and increasing revenue through times of economic uncertainty.

Bartercard Australia is experiencing a growth in member numbers as small to medium-sized (SMEs) businesses look for solutions to 'recession-proof' their companies.

Growth has been particularly strong in Western Australia, with 30 new companies joining the network last month.

Bartercard Australia now has 45 franchisees and more than 20,000 members nationally, doing up to $40 million worth of trade a month.

North Perth-based Bartercard franchisee Chad Zani said that, under the Bartercard business model, business owners could utilise their goods and services to pay for what they needed, preserving working capital for other expenses.

"Tighter economic times highlight the benefits of bartering as a smart way to preserve cash flow," he said.

"The Bartercard network helps to stimulate the sale of excess stock, enabling businesses to decrease idle time and gain that needed edge over competitors."

The system uses 'trade dollars', an accounting unit recognised by the Australian Taxation Office as equivalent to one Australian dollar, to record the value of goods and services traded.

Business owners can then use their trade dollars and an interest free line of credit to purchase the goods and services they require making Bartercard transactions much in the same manner and using the same equipment as an Eftpos transaction.

Many of the services offered through barter include overhead cost items like accounting, cleaning, gifts, dining and travel.

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