Minnesota is a terrific marketplace, one that truly serves the world. Many of our multinational firms not only help drive the world economy, but also blaze a trail for others through innovation and the examples they set. Our smaller businesses do many of the same things, providing dependable service to their customers and communities, and serving as engines for growth. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that many years ago business leaders in our area were among the first to recognize the need for an organization to monitor – and expose – fraudulent operators and advertising abuses; one that would work diligently to promote the highest ethical relationship between businesses and the public. That organization, founded back in 1912 right here in the Twin Cities, was originally called a ‘Vigilance Committee,’ and eventually came to be known as the Better Business Bureau. Today, there are 116 BBBs throughout the United States and Canada.
The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota is proud to be the very first BBB and prouder still to serve the people of Minnesota and North Dakota. In these trying economic times, the resiliency of both states has been on full display. Through agriculture and oil production, North Dakota has been able to maintain a vital economy. Minnesota has battled a bit more to maintain its footing, but now seems to be picking up steam. It’s this resilience that defines businesses in our region – that and integrity.
The often-cited ‘Midwest work ethic’ is far from a cliché. People in our region have long believed in the value of hard work and the importance of doing the right thing. We at the Better Business Bureau see this each and every day. Certainly – and regrettably – we’re known more for shining a spotlight on companies that are not taking care of their customers or doing things the wrong way. No one knows better than us, however, that these companies are the exception. The vast majority of Minnesota and North Dakota companies are companies that do good work, provide quality service and stand behind both their products and their service; companies that embody integrity.
It’s easy to throw around a word like integrity, but its importance cannot be measured. Integrity is priceless and it cannot be bought; it must be earned. It’s what every business strives for – or should strive for – and something all businesses that stand the test of time share in common. In short, integrity matters.
As we begin our Centennial Celebration, we look forward to continuing to do all the things – and more – we have done for 100 years to encourage ethical behavior in the marketplace. We’re looking at this as an opportunity to raise our torch high and reaffirm our status as a national leader when it comes to nurturing integrity through voluntary self-regulation. We look forward to another century of service to Minnesota, North Dakota – and points beyond!