Community Oriented Mutual Economy

Community Oriented Mutual Economy

Community Oriented Mutual Economy (COME) is a local currency project, started in Hong Kong by the Saint James Settlement , a Hong Kong Non-governmental organization (NGO). The COME project prints its own currency, which it issues to members when they join. Members are given one time dollar at the time they sign up, and another time dollar if they list services that they are willing to provide (in exchange for time dollars) in a regular bulletin.

COME has semi-monthly market days, when participants meet to exchange services - haircuts and facials for example - in exchange for time dollars. As of June, 2005, COME has about 500 members, about half of whom live close to Wan Chai, where the project is based.

The COME project resembles Ithaca HOURS to some degree, although the focus is more on low income residents. There has been little involvement with local businesses to date, although the project does receive donated goods, which are sold (for time dollars) in a small store that the project runs. Participants can also sell their own goods, for a combination of time dollars and Hong Kong dollars. Normally the participants recover their cost of providing the goods with the Hong Kong dollar amount, with profit taken in the form of time dollars.

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