BBB of Southern Arizona opened its doors on May 22, 1952. The first office was maintained on the mezzanine floor of the old Santa Rita Hotel in downtown Tucson. By the end of the year, membership in the BBB has grown from the original 39 charter members to 276 businesses, all located in Tucson.
Early in its history, the BBB focused its attention on the "sharpsters" preying on young families started by G.I.s who were, at that time, only seven years out of World War II. In 1953, one of the monthly BBB newsletter articles began: "Well, it looks as though television will finally come to Tucson…." Young families went into debt to acquire this new marvel and television receivers were sold under all kinds of misleading and unscrupulous payment plans.
Late in 1953, business at BBB grew to the point where the board of directors spent a whole afternoon discussing whether to add a second telephone line to handle the load. It looked as though the work load might reach 2,000 calls over the course of the year!
Today, employees at BBB of Southern Arizona handle 24 telephone lines, internet inquiries, incoming and outbound emails and over 2,000 calls a week. BBB of Southern Arizona serves consumers and businesses in the Arizona counties of Pima, Cochise, Santa Cruz, Graham and Greenlee. Sonora, Mexico is also a part of the BBB's service area.
Today, more than 2,300 Southern Arizona businesses have achieved the coveted status of Accredited Business. The BBB maintains offices in both Tucson and Sierra Vista.