What is hOUR Economy?
hOUR Economy is an alternative local economy based on time and relationships, rather than dollars. Anyone participating can “earn an hOUR” for time they spend helping neighbors, fellow business owners, or organizations that are also participating in hOUR Economy. They can then spend that hOUR to receive services from neighbors, businesses, and organizations within the community – and the cycle continues.
For many reasons!
Some participants join to receive access to services that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to afford or prioritize in the monetary economy (massages, dog sitting, website design, educational classes, musical events, etc.).
Others participate to “give back” and make their services accessible to a broader range of the community. Many like having a way of exchanging that’s more personal and based in a local community.
Some simply like meeting new people and experiencing the diversity of local talent and opportunities. However you participate, everyone contributes and everyone receives services. hOUR Economy is co-created by everyone who is a member.
What services are available?
As many as we, as a community, choose to provide!
Browse offerings online, or post requests that others can respond to directly. We encourage you to think creatively, and help others get involved! From cooking classes to gardening, accounting to webdesign, nutrition counseling to book publishing – we know that all these talents are within our community.
Who can join?
hOUR Economy is open to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. When joining, we encourage you to attend an hOUR Economy potluck, meet other members, and to get to know a little about our community. Contact us to learn more.
How do I keep track of my hours?
Our online Timebank Website tracks hOURs for everyone.
When you’ve provided or received a service, decide which of you will log the hOURs, and then simply record them online. (The other individual will receive an email notification of hOURs exchanged). You can always check your hOURs balance online. We encourage members to avoid significantly negative balances.
If you would like assistance regarding ways to earn more hours, feel free to contact your fellow hOUR Economy members or us for additional earning opportunities.
How much is an “hOUR” worth?
In hOUR Economy, everyone’s hOUR is equal regardless of the service. Time is precious to all of us, and we value each individual participating and the hours they are able to give. Our choice to share our time, and to build a sustainable local community with our time, is the shared instinct that hOUR Economy celebrates and nurtures.
I own a business, why should I get involved?
hOUR Economy is a unique way for businesses to provide and receive services in addition to the ones they are already engaged in.
hOUR Economy doesn’t replace the monetary economy – it just complements it. Businesses may use hOUR Economy to supplement their existing customer base and to keep growing and strengthening their community networks. They may also choose to receive hOUR Economy services (accounting, webdesign, marketing assistance, etc) when they have limited financial capital.
Both providers and receivers of ALL services on hOUR Economy should keep in mind that hOUR Economy is a networking tool, not a business clearinghouse or a guarantee of services. As in all exchanges, use your good judgment and ask questions to determine whether the person you are considering working with can provide the type and quality of services you really want.
Can you buy, sell, or barter things with hOUR Economy?
Not directly. hOUR Economy is for exchanging services, where every hour is worth another, equal hour. Unlike bartering, where goods are exchanged based on their monetary value, the IRS considers equal hour exchanges non-taxable. If you have a service that comes with a good (for example, providing photography services for one hour, and then supplying the images) consider either gifting the good or selling it separately as a taxable item.
You can also check out our Gift Circles to share, borrow, gift, or receive goods with hOUR community.