HAMILTON, Ont. — Lorraine Simpson, the Cityline TV travel expert and travel personality, has partnered with BarterPay to launch a special barter-grant program that will distribute $37.5 million in value to travel, tourism and hospitality businesses across Canada to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

BarterPay is a social enterprise that helps businesses and charities across Canada acquire the products and services they need without using cash. It will help Canadian travel businesses convert their unsold time, space, services and idle inventory, their ‘spare capacity,’ into Barter Credits at retail value. Rather than standard one-to-one-bartering, BarterPay is a one-to-many-ecosystem where members are able to exchange what they have to get what they need in an organized way. Through Barter Credits, travel businesses are simply able to trade their spare capacity for other goods and services rather than dipping into cash.

“The Canadian tourism industry is suffering tremendously right now,” says John Porter, founder and CEO of BarterPay. “We want to do whatever we can to help them during this difficult time. Being able to acquire goods or services by trading what they already have can really help boost the bottom line.”

As a staunch advocate for the travel industry in Canada, Simpson says the campaign will have a positive and ever-lasting impact on thousands of travel-related businesses from coast-to-coast.

“It’s a tragedy to see so many hotel rooms lying empty, attractions idle and travel agents and event planners who charge service fees with time to spare and not being able to work. By leveraging BarterPay, business owners can capture that value and then redeem it later,” says Simpson. “Using BarterPay as a smaller agency will prove a bit more of a challenge, but I think agencies that offer travel booking or event-planning services for a fee or sell travel-related merchandise on their website could use the Barter Credits to take a fresh look at their website, renovate their office and access services they could find useful to help them get back on their feet. I offer my PR and crisis-management services through BarterPay, so I can attest first-hand that it works very well.”

Dean Allison, Member of Parliament for Niagara West, says this new partnership is a win for everyone. “The travel industry has been one of the hardest hit during the pandemic and anything we can do to shop local and support our small businesses is critical. Please consider shopping local and spending money with Canadian companies and travel as we work to restart the economy. BarterPay is one way to help stimulate the sector, and with Lorraine’s expertise in the travel industry, this grant program will be a success.”

BarterPay will advertise travel, tourism and hospitality businesses’ idle inventory and available services, at full retail value, to its established members for Barter Credits. One Barter Credit equals one Canadian dollar for valuation, accounting and tax purposes. Once a business earns 1,000 Barter Credits, through the trade of its services and/or inventory, BarterPay will match and provide the business with an additional 1,000 Barter Credits in the form of a grant. This gives a business 2,000 Barter Credits that they can utilize back within the BarterPay ecosystem to offset costs. Regardless of who acquired their inventory or service, the organization can take these newly earned Barter Credits and redeem them for other things on the system, such as printing, advertising, employee gifts, signage, web design, social-media management, PPE, marketing, PR and so much more.

“Travel is soon expected to boom here at home,” says Simpson. “Now travel, tourism and hospitality have another level of support they need to help them get back on their feet.”


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