First Advisor

Greg Schrock

Term of Graduation

Spring 2021

Date of Publication

Spring 6-11-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Urban Studies (M.U.S.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies and Planning




Local exchange trading systems -- United States -- Case studies, Local exchange trading systems -- Public opinion, Barter -- Economic aspects, Barter -- Psychological aspects, Exchange



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 75 pages)


The Global Financial Crisis underscored both the complexity and brittleness of the global financial system, especially for small to medium enterprises dependent on the current banking regime for credit. More than ever, we have also begun to see the disentanglement of small businesses from traditional banks at the local and regional level in the form of CDFIs, fintech alternative lending, and now complementary currencies. Through interviews with the management and members of the BizX complementary currency this study asks what the attitudes and motivations are behind its offering and use. In addition, it inquires into the economic and psychological benefits that arise from it. Often referred to as a barter network but more accurately described as a commercial trade exchange, BizX and its member's attitudes and motivations differ significantly from other complementary currencies in its apolitical stance to trade and large national and international membership. Its value proposition, the development of hyper-local economies, is real but its aspirational attempt at creating a robust community similar to its community currency siblings is questionable. Nonetheless, its value as an economic development tool is undeniable and the research concludes its implementation within a larger structure of economic development self-reliance strategies should be given serious consideration for future planning.


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