BBB Retention Rate Ranks 4th Highest in US

Editor’s Note: The following story is from Growth Report 2017, published by The Business Journal.

By Carol Potter, President & CEO, Better Business Bureau

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — From small community stores and services to multi-national enterprises, the Better Business Bureau of the Mahoning Valley is on the forefront of positive marketplace change by partnering with companies that are committed to the best practices of business ethics, marketplace excellence, and effective industry self-regulation.

In 2016, the Youngstown-based BBB maintained the highest retention rate of accredited businesses, 92.6%, among the eight BBBs in Ohio. And across North America, we proudly stand as the chapter with the fourth highest retention rate in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

This past year, more people relied on BBB than ever before. Consumers want to know who to trust as opportunities for fraud increase. In 2016, 217,166 business profiles of local companies were viewed by consumers, an increase of more than 10,000 or 5%.

BBB is on the forefront of informing consumers and warning them about identity theft, prevalent scams and fraud attacks that are increasing in intensity. Last year we launched Scam Tracker and the results have been remarkable.

Scam Tracker is an interactive tool for users throughout the United States and Canada to report scams and for BBB to collect and track that information in a meaningful way. In just 12 months, more than 33,000 scams have been reported to the system with a total loss of $43 million.

The information collected provides a window on the scam landscape. BBB shares this information with consumers using a “heat map” showing scam details in local communities. BBB then collaborates and shares scam report data with law enforcement.
Scam Tracker taps into the public’s desire to help. Victims become heroes. The citizen heroes who report these scams educate others because they want to help people avoid similar scams. Still, underreporting is major issue. It’s estimated that only 1 out of 17 victims report a scam, and scammers count on people not sharing their negative experiences.

The American Society of Association Executives gave its “2016 Gold Award” to BBB Scam Tracker in recognition of “extraordinary contributions and efforts to enrich lives, create a more competitive workforce, drive innovation, and make a better world.”

Also last year, the Torch Awards for Marketplace Trust were presented in June. This enormously successful event was made possible through the generous underwriting of the BBB TrustBuilders: PNC Bank, Chemical Bank, Farmers National Bank, Huntington Bank, Home Savings and Loan Co. and Cortland Bank. We applaud our TrustBuilders for their work to create a healthier, more vibrant community. We recognize the TrustBuilders’ efforts to encourage economic development and homeownership and are grateful for their beneficial partnerships with community-based organizations that serve our valley’s residents.

Four businesses – Hickey Metal Fabrication, MS Consultants Inc., M7 Technologies and Jensen Lock & Alarm were honored with Torch Awards for their efforts to embody integrity. The Torch Award for Nonprofit Excellence went to The Butler Institute of American Art and the Torch Award for Civic Leadership was given to James P. Tressel, president of Youngstown State University.

In addition to recognizing the success stories of good business practices in the Valley, BBB – with support from Sweeney Auto Group and Farmers Trust Co. – provided five high school seniors with $1,000 post-secondary scholarships. Recipients must be employed by or be the child or grandchild of the owner or employee of a BBB accredited business. One of the key requirements for applying for a scholarship is an essay written by the student on the meaning of ethics and integrity.

Sweeney Auto Group and Farmers Trust are partnering with BBB again this year to provide five scholarships. They will be awarded at the 2017 Torch Awards, to be held June 15 at the Lake Club.

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Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.