Online marketplaces have soared in popularity over the years, but newcomer My Hood Exchange is changing the game. The local marketplace allows users to buy, sell, donate, and rent goods and services. All transactions are facilitated on the safe and secure platform, and each item is picked up and delivered by a MHE driver within 48 hours.

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The idea for My Hood Exchange came to founders Courtney Ordone and Kobina Sackey during the early days of the quarantine in New Orleans. Between the unclarity surrounding the virus and stores running out of basic necessities, it become clear that people wouldn't be able to rely on the usual channels of distribution for household needs and wants.

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"Frustrated, I called Koby and we actively started thinking about how we could get what we needed locally," Ordone told Adore. "Once the concept for a local exchange came to mind, he and I thought about how the pandemic would impact folks' financial stability due to loss of jobs and household income. We knew that if we could make a website that gave community members an easy way to sell products, goods, and services that we could help with that… and the rest is history!"

The platform officially launched this month and is simple to use. Users, both individuals and businesses, can create a free profile and upload photos of goods and services. Whether it's donating used clothing or renting a specific tool needed for a home improvement project, MHE offers a simple and user-friendly platform that supports the community. Local artisans can sell their latest creations, small businesses can expand their reach, and delivery drivers can help transport goods. "The goal is to provide our neighbors additional ways to make money during these unstable economic times and continue to buy local beyond Covid-19."

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The founders hope to create a thriving, self-sufficient community for New Orleans through the marketplace. "I’ve always lived in New Orleans, so this is my 'hood.' We wanted to make it clear that this was a local site that facilitated the exchange of goods and services. New Orleans is such a tight knit community of neighbors who really know and support each other, I knew they would find the most value in My Hood Exchange."

Eventually, Ordone and Sackey hope to expand to other local zip codes and then other cities throughout the nation.