According to Sheri Sword, vice president of communications at the Dayton Better Business Bureau (BBB), the Dayton BBB focuses on marketplace relationships. Contrary to popular belief, they deal with consumer complaints on a very limited basis. 

“We are a resource, which helps people make their buying decisions,” says Sword. “Our mission is to promote ethics in the marketplace.”

Sword estimates that out of approximately 16,000 businesses in the local area, 25 percent have been selected to be listed as members of the BBB. 

“Not just anyone can join,” she explains.

This unique accrediting agency does more than celebrate the doors of a business opening. Each year, the agency hosts the Eclipse Integrity Awards, a large celebration that highlights businesses that exceed the expectations of the market.

“The Eclipse Integrity Awards honor ethics, honesty and integrity in the marketplace,” Sword explains. “Nowhere else can these businesses be accredited for such attributions.” 

She elaborates, saying that the BBB’s accreditation process, in which businesses must meet standards in order to be accredited, allows consumers to learn more about companies they are considering doing businesses with. The BBB provides business reviews to help people make purchasing decisions.

“I love highlighting the good things that are happening in our community,” Sword says. 

Community is important to her and the Dayton BBB, which is why the organization partners with other organizations that are serious about outreach. 

Last January, the BBB partnered with Women in Business Networking (WiBN), which has led to 100 additional events, including the WiBN’s annual leadership conference. 

“This year we’re expanding the leadership conference to surrounding states,” she says, adding that the conference’s pre-show will feature a performance by former American Idol contestant Alexis Gomez.
In addition to award shows and conferences, the Dayton BBB offers other services.

Secure Your ID day is an annual event that focuses on identity protection education and offers free shredding to attendees. 

Along with these events and accreditation services, the organization also provides video services. 

“We create videos for our accredited businesses so they can put it in their business review, on their website or social media to promote their organizations,” says Sword.
She also speaks highly of Dayton’s Search Engine Solutions program. The program started in Dayton and offers search engine optimization for sponsors by matching local businesses with Google consumer searches. 

“Approximately half of the BBBs in the nation use this service,” she says.

Sword adds that the BBB was selected as a best place to work three years in a row by the Dayton Business Journal and attributes the win to a family-like working environment that allows room for community activism and healthy consumer-business engagement.

With all of the efforts extended to society, Sword and her team are proving that the BBB is a hub for creativity, innovation and solutions.

“It’s a fun place to work,” she concludes.