What are Ithaca Hours, and why this survey?
Ithaca's local currency is the Ithaca Hour. Local currencies are important because they strengthen the local economy and promote relationships among people.
This happens because local currencies are mostly accepted by local, independently owned businesses and people who shop at them. When you spend a dollar at a corporately owned chain, most of that dollar immediately leaves the community. But since local independently owned businesses are owned by people who live right here and support other locally owned businesses, money spent with these businesses stays in the community much longer. Bottom line- local currency can help keep money in the local economy.
But people can do more than just shop in stores with Ithaca Hours. They can be accepted for yard sales, or casual jobs done for neighbors and friends, or you can even give a gratuity in Ithaca Hours. By using Ithaca Hours, we are reminded that we can get all of our needs met in community, right here.
But Ithaca Hours use has been in decline since the founder, Paul Glover, moved about 10 years ago. We believe they are more relevant than ever, but without community support in their revitalization, the system won't work well.
We're sending this survey to businesses to gauge interest in Ithaca Hours, and to begin a dialogue for rebuilding the system effectively. Your feedback is very valuable. Thank you!