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KENNESAW, Ga. — When business owners are looking to save cash, one market offers an alternative: the bartering community.
Copeland’s of New Orleans recently renovated their Cumberland location through barter trade. They worked with the Barter Company, which is based in Kennesaw, to do a renovation that was required by the franchise.
“It really helps your cash flow tremendously,” said Copeland’s co-owner Glen Helmstetter. “We’ve saved a couple hundred thousand dollars by bartering the renovation.”
Helmstetter said bartering brings the company new referrals.
“It’s a whole new market,” he said. “We have people come in because we’re on barter. It’s a new clientele for us.”
The Barter Company converts goods and services to “barter credits,” which are added to an account.
“It’s a big pool of entrepreneurs,” Helmstetter said. “We’ll take barter dollars in, and we’ll take that money and we’ll, before we spend cash, we always call the Barter Company and they’ll point us in the direction of vendors who can help us out.”
The idea of bartering gained interest during the recession of 2007, when businesses were short on cash and it became more difficult to receive loans.
“The recession gave barter a lot of exposure,” said Ric Zampatti, the Barter Company’s chief executive officer. “It got a lot of people intrigued about ways of getting things done when you didn’t have money.”
Now, Zampatti says bartering opportunities continue to grow.
“Coming out of the recession, it allows businesses to do more bartering when their sales increase,” Zampatti said.
“Bartering has been going on since time immemorial, but it really kicked in high gear during the last recession we had,” Helmstetter said.
Zampatti said he often works with small businesses.
“Ninety percent of our clients are small business owners,” he said.
“From a small business perspective, it gives them additional funds to buy things they normally couldn’t afford,” he said. “It’s not having to spend cash.”