“And they brought their cattle unto Joseph: and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses, and for the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds, and for the asses: and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year” – Genesis 47:17.

Web definitions of “Barter” include – “an equal exchange: we had no money so we had to live by barter” and “To trade goods or services without the exchange of money”.

The barter concept is centuries old but yet we seem to have forgotten about it. Everything in this materialistic world is reckoned in terms of money and, indeed, money is the most common medium of exchange. How can bartering help in cases of limited financial resources “money”? I interact with entrepreneurs, rich with ideas, on a daily basis and am faced with the chorus “I have no money”. How can bartering help to alleviate the financial impediments to progress which appear to be endemic to the emerging entrepreneurial class?

Bartering implies that each partner has a good or service for exchange. For the emerging entrepreneur, even though he/she may need a range of management services to get the enterprise in a form where it can attract investment, he/she may not have a “barter” good or service which might be appealing to the provider of management services. Of course, the entrepreneur can trade potential shares in the enterprise which may or may not be acceptable to the services provider. In the event that an offer of shares at this early stage in the development of the enterprise is unacceptable to the services provider, then the entrepreneur is stuck, unless he/she benefits from a visionary source of public or private sector funding.

An example of an acceptable “barter” environment is as follows: An airline with projected empty airline seats on a given origin to destination segment, does not earn revenue from that empty seat once that aircraft door is closed. An airline with a visionary marketing manager would include in its marketing strategy an element of barter trade. What services does an airline need to conduct its business well? One of these is a good public image, which it would normally have to pay a public relations provider in cash. A sensible tactic for the airline would be to identify an entity(ies) which has the opportunity to promote the airline and which has the need for airline seats. A barter arrangement can thrive under this scenario.

Other examples of resources that cannot be stored for future use is “today’s consultant hour” and “today’s hotel room”. If it is not sold today you cannot sell it tomorrow. What you sell tomorrow is “tomorrow’s consultant hour” and “tomorrow’s hotel room”. These provide excellent opportunities for creative barter arrangements.

Berthia Parle, the outgoing St. Lucian President of the Caribbean Hotel Association, says she can’t wait for Air Jamaica to increase its service between New York and St. Lucia from three flights weekly to a daily service. Parle, who hosted an Air Jamaica media group for a Caribbean lunch at her popular Bay Gardens Hotel, said the return of Air Jamaica to St. Lucia was a phenomenal development for the country and its tourism industry.

Parle, who steps down as CHA president this summer after a highly successful two year-term, said the new service is good for Air Jamaica, the hotels and the tourism industry. “I just hope that we can move from three days as quickly as possible to an actual daily flight … I think we are doing all in our power to ensure the success of the flight,” she said.

Load factors since Air Jamaica’s return in February 2006 have been encouraging with travelers responding positively to the only non-stop service from the Northeastern United States and hoteliers reporting increased business.

In addition, Air Jamaica provides more non-stop flights to Jamaica than any other carrier with more than 270 flights per week from Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York (JFK), Orlando, and Philadelphia in the U.S., Toronto , Canada and from London to Montego Bay and Kingston. Air Jamaica also offers non-stop service between New York (JFK) and Grenada.

Air Jamaica offers a comprehensive Caribbean intra-regional service and has joint fare arrangements with US carriers.

An analysis of the load factors on this expansive network of Air Jamaica services will reveal the distribution of empty seats by airline segment, day of the week and season of the year. This is an opportunity for a creative barter arrangement with selected partners which (if well researched) can save the Air Jamaica network millions of dollars of cash outlay on an annual basis.

On another front, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados Inc hfobceo@sunbeach.net presents the twelfth Healthy Lifestyle Seminar for Business and Professional Executives on Thursday 6th July 2006 at Sherbourne Conference Centre sponsored by Sagicor General Insurance Inc. There will be breakfast followed by four interactive interventions on Cricket World Cup 2007 – A Great Opportunity (Mr. Tony Marshall); Physical Activity and Health in Barbados (Dr. Colin Alert); Skipping to Get Fit (Dr. Adrian Lorde); and Live Like You Love Life (Professor Henry Fraser). The seminar concludes with lunch at which Professor Trevor Hassell will be the Guest Speaker.