The Better Business Bureau: Building trust in Calgary for 70 years

January 30, 2024
Leadership General Business Talent
1 BBB Mary OSullivan Andersen 1000 x 750

Mary O’Sullivan-Andersen, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, in its Calgary office.

Photo credit: Wil Andruschak © Postmedia Network Inc.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is celebrating 70 years of building trust between Calgary consumers and businesses.

“While we’re not your father’s BBB, what we do today is still very much consistent with our roots,” says Mary O’Sullivan-Andersen, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau’s office representing southern Alberta and East Kootenay.

The BBB’s history in the city is deep and rich, with founding members including the Calgary Herald and Calgary Sun. Today, it boasts more than 3,500 accredited businesses locally, who demonstrate the utmost commitment to trust between both consumers and the marketplace.

“We’re really holding businesses to walk the walk, and not just talk the talk,” she says. “When a business displays the BBB seal, that’s the sign of a better business.”

And that symbol is earned. Not every business seeking accreditation makes the cut, and some existing members have lost their accreditation after failing to meet the BBB’s high standards, O’Sullivan-Andersen says.

“I want Calgarians to feel confident when spending their hard-earned dollars, so I always recommend looking for the sign of a better business.”

The BBB’s role includes vetting their accredited businesses at least once a year to ensure they’re maintaining high standards regarding honesty, communication and clear marketing practices.

The BBB also reports on Calgary businesses on its website, a go-to resource for consumers, receiving about 100,000 visits a month.

“In the age of misinformation, it’s more important than ever that consumers know where they can go for genuine advice. All reviews and complaints are vetted before they are posted, to ensure legitimacy and, prior to complaints going live, businesses are always given an opportunity to respond.”

Businesses, and the community at large, also look to the BBB as a resource.

For businesses, the BBB provides access to marketing support, special rates on advertising, co-working spaces and conference rooms. It also shares regular business information and industry-specific data and trend reports. Within the community, the BBB has many partners, including the Calgary Police Service and post-secondary institutions, to boost consumer awareness. This includes educating the public on its annual Risk Report, highlighting the Top 10 scams affecting Canadians.

But perhaps most valuable of all is what the BBB name stands for in Calgary and beyond. Its motto says it all: ‘The sign of a better business.’

“Building trust between the community and businesses has been our focus for 70 years and will be for many more years to come.”

 This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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