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HOURS Directory | What are Ithaca Hours? | How can I participate?


1. Are Ithaca HOURS real money?
2. What is one HOUR worth?
3. Why is our local currency called an HOUR?
4. Does this mean that I should never pay more than an HOUR in exchange for an hour of services?
5. Why don't all member businesses accept 100% HOURS for purchases and services?
6. How can I get HOURS?
7. Who can use HOURS?
8. How can I become a participant in the Ithaca HOURS system?
9. What does participation mean?
10. How do new HOURS get into circulation?
11. Who controls the supply of HOURS?
12. What if some of my HOURS get worn out or damaged?

1. Are Ithaca HOURS real money?
Yes. At present, no monetary systems are backed by an actual commodity (such as gold), but instead notes are simply declared to be money by an authority ("fiat money"). In the case of U.S. currency that authority is the national government. In the case of Ithaca HOURS that authority is the board of the corporation.
As such, Ithaca HOURS are taxable, and it is illegal to counterfeit them.

2. What is one HOUR worth?
When the currency was formulated in 1991, the average hourly wage in Tompkins County was $10. So it was decided that one HOUR would represent $10. All portions of an hour are worth equivalent subdivisions of $10. E.g., 1/8 HOUR = $1.25

3. Why is our local currency called an HOUR?
The name HOUR is meant to remind you that, in addition to being a medium of exchange for commodities, currency represents someone's labor, the time taken to provide a skill or perform a service. Your time is worth something to someone else. When yo ugive someone an HOUR, you are telling them: "I did this much somewhere else. Please give me the equivalent here."


4. Does this mean that I should never pay more than an HOUR in exchange for an hour of services?
No. Often the cost of providing a service includes much more than the time spent by a single person performing the service. There are other factors (called overhead) that add to the cost per hour. These factors include support staff, rent, equipment, and supplies.

5. Why don't all member businesses accept 100% HOURS for purchases and services?
Most businesses have economic relationships that extend beyond the local community, where Ithaca HOURS are not accepted. THese businesses must take in U.S. currency to do business with suppliers outside of the HOURS system. We ask merchants to calculate a rate of HOURS acceptance that is proportional with their ability to put them back into the local economy.

6. How can I get HOURS?
1. Offer goods and services in the directory. In exchange for your listing fee you will receive a disbursement of 2 HOURS. Once listed, you may then begin to accept HOURS as a medium of exchange.

2. Each year, when you renew your listing in the directory, you will receive another 2 HOUR disbursement.

3. Become an "HOURS earner" of Ithaca HOURS. If you work for a business that accepts HOURS, you may choose to accept part of your awages in HOURS. Fill out a form here.

4. Exchange U.S. dollars for HOURS at the Autumn Leaves Bookstore on the Commons.

5. Accept HOURS at a yard sale, for household chores, or in other temporary or informal economic arrangements.

7. Who can use HOURS?
Anyone who chooses to do so. Merchants listed in the directory have madea formal commitment to accept and spent HOURS. All customers who patronize merchants in the directory may spend and accept HOURS.

8. How can I become a participant in the Ithaca HOURS system?
1. Any business, organization or individual may submit a listing or listings to the directory. The form is at the back of this volume.

2. Become an HOURS earner and be paid partially in HOURS.

3. Sign up as a supporter of the system.

9. What does participation mean?

  • You are supporting an innovative, grassroots, community-focused organization
  • You can apply for an HOURS loan for your business.
  • You can vote for the Board of Directors.
  • 10. How do new HOURS get into circulation?
    1. New HOUR notes are issued as disbursements to those who pay for a listing in the direcotry.
    2. New HOUR notes are issued when Ithaca HOURS makes loans to participants or gives small grants to community organizations.
    3. A limited number of HOUR notes are issued to help cover basic system expenses, such as printing new currency and office supplies.

    11. Who controls the supply of HOURS?
    The Circulation Committee of Ithaca HOURS, Inc.

    12. What if some of my HOURS get worn out or damaged?
    Exchange old notes for new ones at Autumn Leaves Bookstore on the Commons or at Small World Music on 614 West State Street. There are HOURS banks in the stores. You may also mail your HOURS notes to Box 6731, Ithaca, NY 14851, including a self-addresses stamped envelope and an explanation of your requested exchange. We will return the same value in notes in good condition.

      Ithaca Hours, Inc.
    Ithaca, New York

    Site Design and Database Development by 544 Productions.
    Copyright 2005-2009 by Ithaca Hours, Inc.

     

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