Fast-growing Business Exchange Inc., a North Hollywood-based barter club, is merging with three smaller Southern California clubs, which should boost its nationwide enrollment by about 7.5%.
Publicly held Business Exchange, founded in 1960, expects to pick up about 900 enrollments from members of Trade Assn. System of Cerritos, Exchange Enterprises of Thousands Oaks and Barter Systems International of Los Angeles. Members of the three clubs are being offered the chance to convert their memberships to Business Exchange enrollment. There is no fee or cash exchange involved in the conversions.
Business Exchange operates a barter credit system, which allows a member business or professional to sell products or services for barter credit, and to use those credits like cash to acquire goods and services from any other business participating in its program.
The company acts as a third-party "bookkeeper," which debits and credits accounts of its members when they barter for goods among themselves. (For example, a bicycle shop owner receives a credit for selling a bike to a dentist. The dentist receives a debit. The shop owner can apply his credit toward any other members' goods or services, while the dentist works off his debit by providing a member with dental care.)