BBB celebrates 10 years in area |

BBB celebrates 10 years in area

Pete Fowler Inside Business Staff WriterGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. The local branch of the Better Business Bureau for a decade now has made efforts to assist the local business community.Pam King, CEO of the BBB mountain states bureau, said the organization formed in 1904 and expanded its services to Garfield County, Pitkin County and Basalt in 1997.Before that, people and businesses in the area often had no representation when they became victims of scams.Don Gerbaz, owner of Berthod Motors remembers receiving phone calls from people asking him how they could contact the BBB. Everyone knew what the BBB was, but no one seemed to know how to use it since it hadnt established a presence in the area, Gerbaz said. Once a few businesses started advertising that they were members of the BBB, membership snowballed.

The areas membership director, Oni Butterfly, was hired shortly after the BBB expanded into the region. In nearly 10 years, Butterfly has increased membership by more than 400 businesses, King said.They felt there was a need, and they came to the area and met with business and city leaders, Butterfly said.She added that around that time there were a lot of businesses coming from the Front Range like builders, roofers and other contractors. Some of those businesses took advantage of people.In addition to the local growth in membership, the BBBs services and mission have evolved as well, Butterfly added.The BBB held its 10-year anniversary breakfast at the Hotel Colorado recently. At the breakfast, King presented the BBBs plans for expanded services and a national media campaign.Were just about to unveil a new national branding for the BBB, King said.Within the context of the rebranding, well have one central website.There were previews of ads that will air on National Public Radio and national television stations to further the awareness of the BBB and what it can do for consumers.

Instead of 128 websites for all its different bureaus in the U.S. and some of Canada, the BBB bureaus will operate through one central website, site, along with the concept of accredited businesses, will roll out in October with a national media and advertising campaign, King said.The BBB had focused on business reliability reports, dispute resolution services and protection from scams and fraud in the area, King said. The newer concept of accredited businesses adds to that.A main part of the BBBs mission now will be to connect consumers with accredited businesses. In essence, if the BBB determines it can put its stamp of approval on a business, then consumers should be able to trust that business.What we are communicating is that this organization has standards that companies need to meet in order to belong to this organization, King said.Consumers can trust accredited companies because they meet our standards.The BBB also will give businesses letter grades like the system schools use.That rating system is due out in January. It will be based on factual background such complaint history, complaint response, advertising reviews, licensing information and government actions, King said.Previously the BBB designated businesses only satisfactory or unsatisfactory.Theres a great deal more information, King said.Theres much more significance to being accredited.Gerbaz said the new ideas the presentation unveiled are solid.I think this is going to be awesome, he said.

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