Short On Cash? asks, short on cash? Join the new old economy and swap.

There’s no recession in barter,” said Debbie Lombardi as she navigated the crowd at the Barter Business Unlimited’s Annual Business & Holiday Barter Show, in Bristol, Conn.

More than 1,000 people affiliated with 100 vendors of all kinds packed into a hotel event space to wheel and deal and trade their wares. As Lombardi, the event’s host, worked the floor, dozens of small business owners stopped her to ask questions. One owns a bicycle shop. One is a longtime friend and jewelry-store owner. One sells lingerie and adult toys.

It’s the newly popular return to the old “it takes a village” way of doing business.

The barter show functions in its own cash-free world — like a high-tech Burning Man. Members have cards linked to accounts of “trade dollars” which they can spend on anything on offer from businesses in the barter network.

Photo by CNNMoney.

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