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

Loans and Grants


Ithaca HOURS Offers Business Loans at No Interest!

Individuals or businesses who are members of Ithaca HOURS are eligible to apply for business loans.  These loans are made in HOURS with an amazing rate of 0% interest.

Applicants for loans must submit a letter outlining the following:

  1. The size of the business loan you are requesting
  2. The way the HOURS will be spent (loans should be spent within six months of receipt)
  3. How the applicant expects to be able to repay the loan
  4. A proposed loan repayment schedule, at 0% interest, with repayment within one year
  5. The name of the individual personally responsible for repaying the loan.
  6. References

Loan applications will be evaluated on the completeness of the application; ability to repay the loan; ability to spend the HOURS in diverse ways within the community; and the extent to which the proposed activity will support or stimulate entrepreneurship and opportunity within the community, consistent with the mission of Ithaca HOURS.

If you have a business start-up or expansion idea please consider an Ithaca HOURS loan.  You’ll be helping yourself, and by putting more HOURS into circulation also the community.

You can send your loan application to info@ithacahours.org or mail it to Ithaca HOURS, PO Box 6731, Ithaca NY 14851.


Does Your Community Organization Have a Project or Activity Needing Funds?

Are you a board member, staff member or volunteer at a local organization serving the needs of our community? If so, consider applying for a grant from Ithaca HOURS. The application process is simple.

Community organizations wishing to apply for a grant of HOURS should write a letter outlining the following.

1. The size of the grant requested.

Grants will not exceed 30 HOURS (equivalent to $300), although the Board may consider special requests for larger amounts.

2. How the grant will be used.

Grant applications will be evaluated according to the soundness of the proposed spending plan and how diversely the HOURS will be spent within the community. You can look through the HOURS Directory and think about the kinds of goods and services that HOURS members offer which would be helpful to the program or event you are seeking support for. Past recipients have applied for grants to pay for food and entertainment at special events (storytellers, magicians, etc.), to purchase office supplies, to treat volunteers, to provide books purchased with HOURS to support reading programs for children, or to hire trail guides and other special staff.

3. How the grant will further your organization's goals and benefit the community.

Grant-seeking organizations should be well-established and have a presence in the community, and should be focused on an activity that strengthens individuals or community groups and/or creates opportunities for community members.

Past grant recipients include Fall Creek Elementary School, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Community Dispute Resolution Center, CUSLAR (Committee on US-Latin America Relations), GIAC (Greater Ithaca Activities Center), Loaves and Fishes, Refugee Resettlement Program, Sciencenter, Senior Citizens Council, SlamTactor Poetry Slam, Women's Works and others.

Contact us if you want help thinking through how you can use HOURS to support your organization's goals and programs.

You can send your proposal to info@ithacahours.org or mail it to Ithaca HOURS, PO Box 6731, Ithaca NY 14851.

Ithaca Hours, PTA Help Students Choose Free Books for the Holidays

By: Jake McNamara
Ithaca Times, 01/04/2006

Two days before Christmas, Fall Creek elementary students swarmed The Bookery II, anxious to pick up holiday reading.
"I got this huge book," said Christian Zahler, 9, lugging around C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia. "It's really adventurous, it's really exciting, and after you start, it sucks you right in."
Christian is just one of fourth grade teacher Eric Pritz's 19 students benefiting from the generosity of a grant from Ithaca Hours and the Fall Creek Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Ithaca Hours provided 30 Hours (equivalent to $300), while the PTA supplied the other half of the funding, so students could get themselves or their loved ones books for the holidays.

"The kids have been reading two hours a week to meet their pledge," Pritz explained, adding that his students had looked forward to their Bookery trip for months.

"I think it's a valuable thing - having kids own their own books," said Carol Cedarholm, a reading teacher in Fall Creek and Northeast elementary schools who wrote the grant proposals.
Ledarholm said that, after the students left The Bookery, they would be heading to Pizza Aroma for lunch and the Tompkins County Public Library, to ensure everyone had their own cards.

While at The Bookery, students excitedly discussed their must-read lists. "I like fantasy books because they're more interesting than books about real things," said Anneke Van Renesse, 9, as she browsed through the fantasy section, noting that she had read the new Harry Potter book three times.

Marcia McDonald, 9, is a big Judy Blume fan. She explained that Blume's character the troublesome Fudge is one of her favorites.
"I always like what Fudge does," McDonald said. "He's a very smart person, but he messes up his brother's life by annoying him."
McDonald wasn't picking out a Fudge book, though - instead she bought a copy of Nancy Drew Mad Libs for her older sister.
June Locke, a Bookery worker and former librarian, spoke to the Mr. Pritz's class several days before they arrived for their holiday shopping.

"First of all, we talked about who they would get a book for - a younger sibling, a cousin, themselves," Locke said. "And then we talked about the difference between a bookstore and a library."

Ithaca Hours is a local currency with origins dating back to 1991, and it has received national attention multiple times. The board for Ithaca Hours gives out several grants a year.
Along with The Bookery II, Autumn Leaves on The Commons is partnering in this Fall Creek reading program, and is also accepting Ithaca Hours as at least partial payment for books. 

  Ithaca Hours, Inc.
Ithaca, New York

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