MESA, AZ - Trade exchanges from around the country are meeting in Mesa until Sunday to come up with new ideas to improve trade among businesses.
This year is the first time the National Association of Trade Exchanges Convention will be held in the Valley. The Arizona Trade Exchange is hosting the event at the Phoenix Marriott Mesa Hotel.
The goal is to share information and come up with ways to improve trade and bartering for roughly 50,000 businesses that the exchanges represent. The Arizona Trade Exchange represents 700 businesses, according to Rob Miller, President of ATE.
Businesses can barter goods and services for trade dollars. They can use trade dollars to buy services and goods from other members.
Lexani Limousines, operating out of Gilbert, is providing free rides for convention guests in exchange for trade dollars. Billy Jinks, owner of Lexani, says bartering will help his business get through the summer slowdown. He says he doesn't have to use hard cash to pay for operating costs he needs, like car maintenance.
The Phoenix Marriott Mesa is bartering convention space, Miller said.
Seminars for the event started Friday and will end Sunday.
The event is open to NATE members but local businesses can learn more about bartering and trade by contacting the Arizona Trade Exchange.