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Bartering for Christchurch

( BBX New Zealand, a leading business-to-business barter community, is providing a conversion mechanism that helps businesses around the country contribute to the reconstruction of Christchurch. Donated goods and services will be traded for barter credits that will then be used to buy things that Christchurch companies specifically need to get back on their feet.

While debate rages over the likely cost of rebuilding the shattered city, mainstream support charities are asking for cash donations instead of goods so priority needs can be met most effectively.

“Many companies would like to help but just don’t have any money to spare right now, so this focus on cash rules them out of the picture,” said BBX managing director Ian Jones. “The barter economy is ideally suited to help so we’re acting as a bridge between those companies and their Christchurch counterparts who desperately need a hand up.”

BBX members outside Christchurch will buy donated goods and services with their own barter credits. These will then be used to pay other BBX members to deliver whatever targeted and relevant support might be available, to Christchurch businesses.

“A Whangarei tour operator might want to help but has no spare cash and its services aren’t exactly on anyone’s radar in Canterbury right now,” Jones said. “But they may well be of use to one of our members and paid for with barter credits. We can then use these credits to pay a BBX roofer to help repair a shop in Manchester Street.”

“This is a tangible way to provide support when cash is tight”, Jones says.

“Many businesses have surplus capacity or stock that they can donate. This might not be hugely useful to the mainstream aid and reconstruction organisations but to us it’s bread and butter stuff. Our entire business model is built around converting surplus inventory and downtime into barter credits which can then be used to buy much-needed goods and services.”

There is no obligation for either donors or recipients of the BBX Christchurch recovery initiative to become BBX members.

“This isn’t about business, it’s about helping Cantabrians tap into the enormous reservoir of goodwill and support that exists for them right across this country,” Jones said.

Jones has personal experience of the devastation in Christchurch. He was visiting BBX’s office there when the quake struck. “Our office is destroyed but our spirits aren’t. Our staff and immediate families are all safe, so now we’re focused on doing what we can to help those who are suffering,” he said.

“We need to get Christchurch businesses back up and running as soon as possible and protect as many jobs as possible. So I’m calling on all New Zealand businesses to help that happen.”

BBX stands for Business Barter Exchange. The company has been operating here and in Australia since 1993. It has run barter-based recovery initiatives before, most recently during the Victorian bushfires and the Queensland floods.

Businesses wanting to assist Christchurch by donating goods and services, and those in the city looking for help to re-build, can contact Jones by email at, by phone on 09-2620212 or by fax on 09-2620213 or mobile on 021-675290.

Media Release 27 February 2011 from BBX.



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