In an acquisition that St. Louis Better Business Bureau President and CEO Michelle Corey called “one of the most ambitious and significant expansions in our 100-year history,” BBB has announced the addition of 24 counties in Southwest Missouri to its service region.
The expansion, which includes the cities of Springfield, Joplin and Branson, means the St. Louis office will oversee BBB operations in 116 counties in eastern, southern and southwestern Missouri and in southern Illinois.
“This is an exciting time for St. Louis BBB and an exciting time for businesses and consumers through-out our expanded service area,” Corey said. “Bringing the Springfield BBB operation into the St. Louis region will mean a stronger, more dynamic BBB for years to come, and give us the tools to continue to be the leader in promoting strong business ethics.”
BBB Board Chair Michael Rottler called the merger “the start of a new era for St. Louis BBB.” He went on to say “Efficiency gains and cost consolidations resulting from the merger will mean technological advancements that ultimately will mean more and improved services throughout our region.”
Jon Anfinson, BBB regional director in Springfield, said “We are excited about the merger because of our mutual commitment to fulfilling BBB’s mission to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. Linking the resources of both trusted organizations will expand our capacity to serve more businesses and consumers.”
The area of Southwest Missouri is among the fastest-growing in the Midwest, with populations in Christian, Taney, Jasper and Greene counties expected to continue to rise over the next decade.
The expansion, which has been approved by the boards of directors and Accredited Businesses of both the St. Louis and Springfield regions, will make the St. Louis region the seventh largest of the 103 BBB service territories in North America. With a combined 9,000 Accredited Businesses, the St. Louis region will be on par with BBB Chicago and just behind BBBs in Boston and Washington, D. C.
The Springfield office will remain open and day-to-day operations will continue to be run by staff there. The Springfield office joins other St. Louis regional offices in Columbia and Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Quincy, Ill.
Corey said the expansion ultimately will mean added resources throughout the region, including stronger sales efforts, strengthened support for Accredited Businesses and consumers, added communi-cations and marketing expertise and a heightened emphasis on charity review, mediation and investigations.
The new service region has more than six million residents.
The St. Louis BBB office is celebrating its centennial this year. The organization originally was founded as the Vigilance Committee of the St. Louis Advertising Club in 1917, making it one of the first such organizations in the nation.
St. Louis Area Media Contacts: Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, (314) 584-6743 or (314) 681-4719 (cell), [email protected]
Shellie Kreter, PR & Communications Manager, (314) 584-6723 or (314) 348-5451 (cell), [email protected]
Springfield media contact: Jon Anfinson, BBB Springfield Regional Director, [email protected]
BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information.