Monday marked the beginning of the 2019 BBB Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics. The award promotes the importance of ethical business practices and highlights the willingness and efforts made by local businesses that demonstrate a dedication to marketplace trust. Entries close Sept. 6.

Of the many qualified entries submitted from across the 105-county Central Texas region, six winners were chosen: three in the Fort Worth area (Olympic Restoration Systems, Firefighting’s Finest Moving & Storage and Apex Capital Corp), one in Austin (Dochen Realtors), one in Boerne (Taurean) and one in Lufkin (McWilliams and Son). Could your business be in the spotlight this year? BBB has some answers to a few frequently asked Torch Awards questions:

How do I enter? Entry is free and easy. Simply complete the online form, which can be found at us.bbb.org/centex-torch. Criteria for entries is based on community involvement and BBB’s core values: excellence, integrity, teamwork, trust and respect.

Who will we be competing against? Businesses compete with businesses with a similar number of employees. There are six size categories: 1-10, 11-20, 21-40, 41-60, 61-99 and 100+.

Who can participate? The Torch Awards are open to all for-profit businesses headquartered within the 105 counties covered by BBB serving the Heart of Texas. Applicants must be in business for a minimum of three years and maintain a rating of B or higher with BBB. Accreditation with BBB is not a requirement, and winners may only enter once every three years. To find your BBB, visit bbb.org.

Who are the judges? Candidates will be evaluated by a panel of judges from the business and academic communities. Entries are judged on an overall best score, with each category valued at 10 points. The maximum score is 60 points.

Why should I enter? Torch Award winners receive an in-person trophy presentation by BBB, website recognition, lifetime use of the BBB Torch Award Seal and more. Plus, winning is a way to showcase your business’ hard work and commitment to promoting ethical marketplace standards in your community.

We love to see businesses upholding our standards of trust. If you own or know a business that would be perfect for a Torch Award, visit us.bbb.org/centex-torch to enter and learn more about the competition.

• Emily Gaines is the public relations coordinator for the Bryan-College Station office of Better Business Bureau.

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