The Coronavirus pandemic has led many state and local governments to take unprecedented measures to halt its spread, including closing all non essential local businesses and public gatherings.
In response to the disruption many Americans have also taken unprecedented measures of their own, and this has included for some a return to barter economy.
As MSN reports:
Since the beginning of March, unattended folding tables have begun popping up at intersections and the end of people’s driveways, offering everyday goods like rice, a jar of jam or bread. Take what you need and leave what you can, the signs say.
Barter, the trade system prevalent in the Middle Ages, is back in the time of coronavirus pandemic, with a modern twist.
Social networks Facebook and Nextdoor are flooded with posts from neighbors and friends seeking to swap eggs for toilet paper. Small and midsized businesses, whose cash trade has dried up from the economic fallout of shelter-in-place orders, are turning to online barter exchanges.
“When cash is extra tight, it behooves us to buy as much as possible on trade,” said David Yusen, director of business development for Seattle-based Heavy Restaurant Group, which recently bought 56 cases of Malbec wine for $15,000 worth of barter credits. The company’s 10 restaurants have closed, but some locations will start offering pick-up and delivery this week. “It saves us money, it helps cash flow.”