CHICAGO, IL, November 12, 2008 - The Better Business Bureau of Chicago & Northern Illinois (BBB) announces the 2008 winners of the twelfth annual Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, which spotlights companies that exemplify ethical business practices. This awards luncheon ceremony will be hosted at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza on Thursday, December 4th. A news anchor with ABC7 Chicago will present the BBB awards to: Empire Today, LLC, IBM Corporation, Life Care Innovations, Inc., Luna Carpet & Blinds, Inc., PromoWorks, and Sears Holdings Corporation. Honorable mentions will be awarded to: Exterior Design Inc., Mega Home Improvement and S&C Electric Company.
“As the headlines have portrayed, ethical business practices have taken a beating on Wall Street, the banking industry, housing and other marketplaces,” says Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois. But he adds, "The Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics honors companies that make a demonstrable effort to promote ethical business practices, and we are pleased to see the number of businesses who, in the eyes of their customers and other associates, meet that threshold."
The awards recipients are selected by an independent panel of judges each year. Bernas went on to say, "This year's participants and winners have reaped many rewards as a result of their commitment to achieving and maintaining high ethical standards including stronger customer loyalty, enhanced reputation, and greater employee commitment."
The 2008 competition had the largest number of nominations and entries with more than 1,700 nominations from a wide variety of businesses, explained Bernas.
“This variety in entries and the subsequent winners and honorable mentions reflect an increasing interest by more and more companies to use ethical business practices in their operations as the primary method of self-regulation,” Bernas said, “This belief is the cornerstone of the BBB system.”
Companies are judged in five categories based on their number of employees. Bernas noted that the presentation of awards is just the tip of the iceberg for companies that do it right by working with their customers, suppliers and other organizations in a professional manner. It remains important for people to inform the BBB when they have done business with a company that did an exemplary job. Many of the over 1,700 nominees for this award were the result of consumers alerting the BBB to companies who 'do it right'.
This year's event has been made possible through the generosity of the following sponsors:
AAA Chicago, ABC7, Abt Electronics & Appliances, Access One, ADP, Alberto Culver, All My Sons Moving & Storage, Inc., Assurance Agency, Ltd., Bridgestone Firestone Retail and Commercial Operations, Carnivale Stretch Run OTB, CDW, Charter One, Chicago Tribune, Com Ed, Combined Insurance Co. of America, Coyne American Institute, Inc., DeVry, Discover Financial, George S. May, Grant's Appliances Electronics & More, Hallberg Commercial Insuror's Inc., HSBC - North America, IBM Corporation, IPM, Inland Real Estate, KMPG, Leigh Hanson, Life Care Innovations, Midas, Midwest Graphics, Inc., Pave Man, Inc., Pampered Chef, Pepper Construction, R.H. Donnelley, Seyfarth Shaw, Sears Holdings Corporation, Sundance Vacations, Tiffany & Co., US Waterproofing, Viking Ski Shop, Inc., Williams Lea, Inc.
Consumers can nominate an ethical business on our website at www.chicago.bbb.org under the “For Consumers” section.