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October 20,  2009

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...10/20/2009

Rum Maker Barters With St. Croix (Virgin Islands)

Spirits maker Fortune Brands Inc. has cemented a barter deal with the U.S. Virgin Islands to continue making rum on St. Croix in exchange for marketing and other incentives. Thus expanding the Cruzan Rum Distillery and building a state-of-the-art wastewater-treatment facility with a value projected to exceed $1 billion over 30 years.

Restaurant Industry Reports Declining Sales

The National Restaurant Association reports continued declines in sales for August, the most recent month for which it has data. Only 17% of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between August 2008 and August 2009. Some 68% of operators reported a same-store sales decline in August, up from 58% who reported negative sales in July. Customer traffic levels also dropped off in August.

TeleTrade International Earnings Update

Gary Lasater, CEO of TeleTrade international, reports $44.4 million of trading volume for the trading platform’s first nine months of 2009. (The eValues system posted $34.2 million of TTi’s totals.)

Barter Industry Convention Scheduled

The National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE) 25th Annual Convention will be held October 25-27 at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For more convention information click here.

All back issues of "From the Desk...” can be accessed by clicking here.

(Please feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends and colleagues. We have a “box” at the end of the newsletter for your convenience. See you next week. . .)


(The following article was submitted to BarterNews from David Wallach on behalf of the International Reciprocal Trade Association.)

IRTA 2009 Legends Of Barter Convention An Unqualified Success

Quotes from attendees:

“I want to thank you again for putting on a great conference in Dallas. I saw a lot of relationships being made, and a lot of business getting done. Not only for me, but for just about everyone else that attended.”

(Barry Cohen, BCL Soft)

“Ron (IRTA Executive Director), you did a amazing job at that convention and just to let you know, people could not stop talking about you and how much good you are doing for UC and IRTA. I enjoyed myself and met some great people, I am really glad I went! Thanks again.”

(Matt Hepworth, Atlantic Barter)

“I enjoyed the Dallas convention and congratulate you on a fine show”

(Kenn Flemmons, Southern Barter)

“I found all of the conference seminars and panel discussions very informative.”

(Dariusz Brzozowiec, BCI Poland)

“I just wanted to say thank you for hosting a wonderful convention for IRTA last week. The Dallas Magnolia Hotel was the perfect venue. The staff was impressive and the hotel was impeccable. Everyone had a wonderful time.”

(Kim Strabley, IMS)

“Thank you Ron for inviting me to such wonderful gathering, my head is still spinning with new barter ideas.”

(Sergio Lub, Friendly Favours)

On October 1, over 100 Modern Trade and Barter industry members from all parts of the world converged upon the beautiful Magnolia Hotel in Dallas to attend the historic 30th IRTA Legends of Barter convention. Barter industry representatives came from Singapore, Turkey, Russia, Brazil, France, Poland and North America to celebrate the past, gain information, form business relationships and plan for the future.

“The fact that so many traveled so far to be here and participate,” declared IRTA Executive Director Ron Whitney, “emphasizes the world wide acceptance of the modern trade and barter process that capitalizes business and creates additional employment within our economies.”

Barter Hall-of-Famer and CEO of Active International, the world’s largest corporate barter company, Alan Elkin lead off the convention by introducing the keynote speaker Paul Suplizio. Paul, an IRTA founder and its first executive director, was primarily responsible for obtaining legal recognition for the trade credit with U.S. tax authorities that provides the very foundation of the modern trade and barter industry. His keynote address focused on and encouraged the industry to create a platform that would provide one card access to all of the world’s commercial barter exchanges.

The keynote address was followed with introductions of all present and the annual business meeting. During his “State of IRTA” speech, IRTA President David Wallach said, “It is my pleasure to report to you that IRTA is in excellent condition and continuing its 30-year tradition of providing substantial programs and services to all sectors of the Modern Trade and Barter Industry.” IRTA Treasurer Mary Ellen Rosinski found IRTA in exceptional financial condition, having cash on hand and with no debts either trade or cash.

The remainder of the first day was filled with various educational seminars and panels. Subjects included a panel discussion on “The Future of Universal Currency” led by Scott Whitmer, a “Seminar on Sales Techniques” chaired by Gary Field, a session “Positioning Your Exchange in a Recessionary Marketplace” moderated by Harold Rice and a “Broker Training Session” hosted by Lisa Mullen and Elizabeth Powell. That evening attendees enjoyed past friendships and made new connections in the relaxed atmosphere of a delicious Hawaiian Luau sponsored by Annette Riggs of Community Connect Trade located in Boulder, Colorado.

Thomas Greco, community currency guru and author of “The End of Money and the Future of Civilization,” was the lead-off speaker on Saturday morning with his presentation “The Next Big Leap in Cashless Trading.” His presentation chronicled the current economic meltdown and the important role the modern trade and barter industry will play in transcending the current economic system. “I was very impressed with Tom’s presentation,” commented Michael Mercier (IRTA Vice President), “the content was extremely informative and he delivered his message in a very clear and understandable way.”

The afternoon was filled with seminars and training sessions including “Certified Trade Broker Training,” “Maximizing Your Barter Company’s Growth” presented by Creg Esh, “Using New Internet Networking Techniques in Barter” hosted by Jason Richards and Sam Waltz Jr., “The IRS & TIN Matching Issues” led by IRTA Executive Director Ron Whitney” and “The Community Currency Movement And How It Can Help Your Barter Exchange” moderated by Annette Riggs with Thomas Greco. “I found all of the conference seminars and panel discussions very informative,” offered Dariusz Brzozowiec of BCI Poland

Later that day the IRTA Global Board of Directors welcomed newly elected Board Members Maximilien Urso of Efficio (Paris, France) and Annette Riggs of Community Connect Trade (Bolder, Colorado). David Wallach was re-elected President and Michael Mercier was re-elected Vice President of the IRTA Global Board of Directors.

The Board resolved to continue Operation Outreach by forming a speaker’s bureau, creating a co-operative industry advertising campaign, and developing lesson plans and syllabuses for course presentation in economic departments of business schools, universities and colleges.

Saturday evening and everyone in attendance is looking forward to the Awards Dinner. This festive semi-formal event was held in the Pegasus Ballroom which was a perfect place to meet the Legends of Barter, honor those receiving awards, and party and dance the evening away. The event was sponsored by The Allan Hackel Group, a corporate barter company located in Boston, Massachusetts.

As dessert was served IRTA executive director opened the Awards Ceremony portion of the program and began calling up those to be honored. Those honored with awards are as follows:

Best Broadcasted Video News Interview for 2009:

·         1st place — IRTA accepted for all IRTA Members

·         2nd place — Badger Barter (tie)

·         2nd place — Active International (tie)

·         3rd place — BizXchange

(These videos will shortly be available on the new IRTA web site.)

Ambassador Awards: go to those who have served the association by using their influence to increase IRTA membership.

·         Bruce Kamm, Virtual Barter

·         Catherine and Barry Cohen, BCL/Soft

·         Phillip Dimitrox, XO

·         Debbie Lombardi, BBU

UC Broker of the Year: goes to the most responsive and active Universal Currency member broker.

·         Dea Shipp, BizXchange

IRTA Outstanding Achievement Award: is for excellent co-operation in the media and public relations area with other members of the industry.

·         Gary Field, NuBarter

IRTA Paul St. Martin Distinguished Service Award: is the highest honor IRA can bestow upon a member and is awarded for exceptional service that goes above and beyond the call of duty. This year we have two very deserving honorees.

·         Dr. Oi Kum Lee of BarterXchange Singapore

Dr. Lee has worked tirelessly and diligently to both educate and build awareness of IRTA and the modern trade and barter industry in the Pan Asian area of the world, instilling the values, standards and potential to create employment that is inherent to the industry.

·         Allan Hackel of The Allan Hackel Organization

Allan, who has been in business since 1954 and is considered the “founding father” of the corporate barter industry, is credited with the invention of the accounts receivable concept that is to this day basic principle of a corporate barter transaction. He holds the coveted Barter Hall of Fame award and has received almost every award this industry has to offer. He continues to work every day, functioning as the hands-on CEO of his organization that is the oldest privately owned barter company in the world.

Before his death in 2002, Paul St. Martin worked with Allan for 18 years and was one of Allan’s closest friends. Therefore it is most appropriate that at this time the IRTA Global Board of Directors bestows this award upon him.

The Barter Hall of Fame: is the highest honor the industry can bestow. The honor recognizes individuals of the highest professional character and ethical conduct who are regarded as indisputable leaders of the modern trade and barter industry. An inductee must have a minimum of ten years of continuous industry service and have made recognizable and specific contributions to the industry as a whole.

·         Don Mardak of IMS Barter/International Monetary Systems

Don began his barter industry career in 1984. He has received two IRTA Outstanding Achievement Awards, a NATE Gary Monkman Memorial Award, served 10 years on the NATE board (two terms as its president), participated as a founding member of the NATE Banc currency system and presently serves on the IRTA Global Board of Directors. Don has recently served as a spokesman and ambassador for the modern trade and barter industry via several media outlets and at investor conferences.

Legends Of Barter Award

In celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the International Reciprocal Trade Association and in order to recognize certain extraordinary individuals that have served the modern trade and barter industry since 1979, IRTA presents the Legends of Barter Award. It is an honor that was presented to members who have helped to shape and define the industry over a period of ten or more years between 1979 to 2009, as evident through positive and identifiable actions.

This is an industry wide award and includes individuals from all industry sectors including commercial barter, corporate barter and the community currency movement. Honorees need not be IRTA members, current industry members or present at the IRTA convention to receive this award.

The individual honorees were listed in the Tuesday Report dated 09/29/09 click here.


Attention Trade Exchange Owners. . .It’s GROW OR GO!

The magic bullet for growth is sales, always has been and always will be...yet the industry’s overall growth is anemic. Why? Maybe it’s because we’re not providing on-going education about our unique way of doing business. Knowledge is always a pre-requisite to taking sustained action.

And for those newcomers, the lifeblood of an exchange, awareness of and understanding about the value of trading is even more important.

If you expect prospects to come aboard and your members to be more active traders, but you are perplexed when the results are less than you desire...there’s a good reason. You must continually educate and motivate every month--month after month after month!

Such action is necessary because, let’s face it, more cash business, not trade, is of paramount importance to your members. You must break through this “cash only” focus and redirect their thinking toward barter. Although most exchanges don’t see the importance of doing so, many industry leaders are taking action and so can you.

As the owner of your own operation, there is an easy and inexpensive solution for moving forward...look into using The Competitive Edge newsletter. It’s a camera-ready, 4-page, professionally written, informational marketing tool...available in PDF format as well as print. So regardless of how you reach your prospects and clients, you will have the necessary vehicle.

Written especially for you, the busy trade exchange owner, I am certain it will be the best investment you ever make.

For more information about The Competitive Edge, and how it can benefit you click here.


ITEX Reports 38% Increase In New Member Registrations & Cash Flow Operations
Up 21%

ITEX Corporation (OTCBB:ITEX), a leading marketplace for cashless business transactions in North America, has filed its Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission and announced its results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended July 31, 2009.

“Despite the challenging economic climate, in fiscal year 2009 we recorded increases in revenues, total assets, stockholder equity, more than doubled our cash position and retired all long term debt,” said Steven White, Chairman and CEO. “Revenues increased 3% and net cash provided by operating activities increased 21% in 2009 to $2,875,000.

“We had a strong fourth quarter with revenue increasing 5% to $4,257,000 from $4,065,000 in the same period last year ,and operational income increasing 26% to $426,000 from $339,000. We attribute these increases to our strategic initiatives, executed in the past two fiscal years, providing earlier than anticipated returns.

“During fiscal 2009, we continued to allocate resources for a number of strategic initiatives such as developing our Web Services program, executing a national strategic partnership strategy, launching ITEX Media Services, and beginning a national advertisement campaign in premier business publications. Many of the expenses incurred were for start up and one-time costs. Our strong operational cash flow and cash position will allow us to continue investing in strategic initiatives.

“We are very pleased with our Software as a Service initiative which resulted in two executed web services agreements — providing new revenue streams for the company in addition to expanding trading opportunities for our members. Under the agreements, for a one-time platform subscription fee and a monthly transaction processing fee ITEX hosts the web interface, client-relationship management platform and is responsible for transactional processing. We also provide a proprietary processing technology that enables members of any of our web services clients to seamlessly accept the digital currency of another web services client.”

White concluded, “Another notable highlight for 2009 was a 38% increase in new member registrations compared to 2008. With the current economic uncertainty, we are well positioned to assist existing and prospective members in generating new sales and conserving precious cash. We have received considerable press in recent months and expect new member registrations to remain strong in 2010.”

Fiscal Year 2009 Highlights

·         Marketplace revenue increased 3% in 2009 to $16,502,000, from $15,964,000 in 2008;

·         Cash and cash equivalents increased 141% in 2009 to $2,557,000, from $1,061,000 in 2008;

·         Stockholders’ equity increased 5% in 2009 to $13,981,000, from $13,319,000 in 2008;

·         Total assets increased 3% in 2009 to $16,661,000, from $16,149,000 in 2008;

·         Acquisition and launch of ITEX Media Services;

·         National partnership strategy launched with execution of an agreement with iCare, a division of SYSCO, Inc., a supplier of products and services to the food service and hospitality industries;

·         Executed two web services agreements;

·         Registered 4,503 new members in 2009, versus 3,248 in the prior year period, a 38% increase;

·         Retired early the remaining balances of notes for two acquisitions, leaving the company with no long-term debt;

·         Entered into an agreement with U.S. Bank to increase the maximum loan amount under our revolving credit facility from $1.0 million to $1.5 million with a lower interest rate;

·         Fourth quarter revenue increased 5% to $4,257,000 compared to $4,065,000 last year;

·         Fourth quarter income from operations increased 26% to $426,000, from $339,000 in 2008.

For more information on ITEX’s Form 10-K click here.


* * ANNOUNCEMENT * *

25 Years Of BarterNews Issues Now In Digital Format

Welcome to the largest repository of barter contacts, strategies, and barter techniques in the world. All 64 issues of BarterNews now available in digital format at http://www.barternews-ezine.com.


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Census Bureau Ranks States’ Rental Costs

The 2008 American Community Survey by Census found the following states with the highest median monthly rent:

1) Hawaii, $1,298
2) California, $1,135
3) Maryland, $1,074
4) New Jersey, $1,068
5) District of Columbia, $1,011

The lowest were West Virginia at $528 and North Dakota at $534. The national mid-point was $824.

The survey tracked “percent of renter-occupied units spending 30% or more of household income on rent and utilities” with the highest burden states being:

1) Florida, 53.7%
2) California, 52.1%
3) Hawaii, 50.4%
4) Michigan, 48.8%
5) Connecticut, 48.2%

The lowest were Wyoming at 32.5% and North Dakota at 34.4%. The national mid-point was 46.1%.


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