Q: I wish to nominate a business for the BBB Torch Awards for marketplace ethics. Could you provide details on how and what the awards represent?
A: The BBB Torch Award for marketplace ethics is an award presented each year at the Better Business Bureau annual meeting. The award highlights businesses that have gone the extra step in upholding the vision that the BBB has in creating marketplace trust among consumers and businesses.
The award is an excellent opportunity for consumers and BBB customers to express appreciation and thanks for a job well done.
This year's annual meeting also will be exceptional given that it marks the BBB's centennial anniversary. The Better Business Bureau has been educating consumers and recognizing ethical business practices in the marketplace for 100 years.
BBB receives consumer complaints
daily; it is easy to complain when a service or product is not exactly as sold or advertised. However, when expectations are met, as a consumer group, we are slow to compliment the business. This award provides that opportunity to show and express thanks to a business. The following merits are considered when a business is nominated for the Torch Award:
(1) Strives to provide customer excellence and satisfaction at all times.
(2) Maintains at a high level, customer and vendor relationships. A business with integrity and perceived in the marketplace as ethical, positive, honest, reliable and responsive.
(3) Representative of business ethics in action. The business is engaged in the community, industry and trade groups.
(4) A business that maintains honorable employee relationships. Continually promotes high ethics within its workforce, trains and demonstrates ethics in the organization.
Any type of business is eligible for this award. There is also a category for nonprofit organization.
The nomination period is open. Nominations may be entered by consumers, employees, another business or the business owner.
A business or organization does not have to be a BBB-accredited business to be nominated. Deadline for nominations is March 30. Nominations may be made at www.chattanooga.bbb.org. You may also email the BBB for a nomination form: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 423-266-0396 to request a form.
At the annual meeting, BBB also awards the BBB Student of Integrity scholarship to current year seniors. The students compete for the scholarship by following certain guidelines with one of them being writing an essay on "The importance of ethics in business and our community."
In 2011, BBB awarded 10 scholarships, each worth $1,000. More information is also available by emailing the BBB at tngabbb@chat tanooga.bbb.org.
Get answers to your questions each Friday from Jim Winsett, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Inc., which serves Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia. Submit questions to his attention by writing to Business Editor Dave Flessner, Chattanooga Times Free Press, P.O. Box 1447, Chattanooga, TN, 37401-1447, or by e-mailing him at dflessner@ timesfree press.com.