06BBBThe world has grown smaller with advances in technology and communications. People are often unsure about where to find verified, unbiased business information. Believe it or not, there are 30 million businesses in North America alone and hundreds of thousands of worldwide websites where people shop online. Inexpensive advertising can put a slick face on even the most deceptive businesses. There are thousands of free and subscription websites that offer a range of information, including reviews, reports, directories, listings and gripe sites. The Better Business Bureau is the one place you can find it all. For over 100 years, BBB has helped people make smarter decisions and is evolving to meet fast-changing marketplace needs.

The BBB has a greater presence in Fayetteville than ever before. For the first time, local people have been elected to serve in leadership positions. “We’ve done something very historic,” said Regional President and CEO John D’Ambrosio. Carl Mitchell, vice president for Human Resources at Fayetteville Technical Community College, is Chairman. Businessman Ed Melvin is Chair-elect. “Typically,” D’Ambrosio said, “our executives are ... chosen from Horry County, South Carolina,” where the regional BBB is headquartered.

The selection of Mitchell and Melvin emphasizes that “Fayetteville and Cumberland County are deserving of greater attention,” added the president.

There are 15 counties in the regional BBB structure, seven in South Carolina and eight in North Carolina. “Fayetteville is an anchor point for us,” said D’Ambrosio. Other anchor points are Florence, Wilmington and Myrtle Beach. “We realize the potential of this market,” Mitchell said. He noted that Melvin, who served for many years as a county commissioner, has been on the BBB board for 22 years and gives the agency historic perspective. 

“We hope to expand services and provide more information” about our members, Mitchell added. He stressed the overall objective is to be more visible and active in the entire 15-county area served by the Better Business Bureau. Of special interest to the Fort Bragg community is BBB’s Military and Veterans Initiative free monthly e-newsletter. “Trusted Scout” helps readers be better consumers and avoid scams designed to separate them from their hard-earned money. There are numerous resources for military members, their families
and veterans.  

Local businesses can become accredited members of the BBB by agreeing to govern themselves by best practice standards set by the bureau. The BBB says seven out of 10 consumers prefer to do business with accredited companies. Founded in 1912, the Better Business Bureau is a nonprofit organization focused on advancing marketplace trust. The local organization  is one of 112 independently incorporated local BBBs in the United States and Canada. They are coordinated under the Council of Better Business Bureaus in Arlington, Virginia. 

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