Better Business Bureau

Better Business Bureau

BBB helps people find and recommend businesses, brands and charities they can trust.

Recent articles of Better Business Bureau

Shopping safely: Get the most out of Black Friday

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Shopping safely: Get the most out of Black Friday

Better Business Bureau 3 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022

The holiday season is upon us, and as many firm up their travel plans, set up their decorations, and gather lists of wanted gifts from friends and family, there’s a date to be mindful of before December hits.

Nov. 25 is Black Friday this year. This American shopping tradition, which takes place on the Friday following U.S. Thanksgiving, has spread into Canada and it can be both a blessing and a curse for consumers. The opportunity to get much-needed or wanted items at a discounted rate looms, but so does the risk that comes along with it.

When you’re shopping Black Friday deals this year, the Better Business Bureau wants to help you stay safe. Whether you’re doing it online or in person, it’s easy to fall prey to unethical business tactics despite your best efforts. The best thing you can do to make the day work for you is plan ahead. Look up Black Friday deals that are already being advertised and compare and contrast them to other stores. Seek out the items on your list and see if a competitor is offering that exact item for less. Be sure to shop brands and companies you trust and search their consumer history on www.bbb.org. There you can find reliable customer reviews, histories of disputes and resolutions and other factors that can help you decide where to buy a particular product or service.

Be sure to read the fine print and do some research on your desired products, to ensure you don’t fall victim to stores offering what appears to be a steep discount, when in reality, the original listed price has been inflated in order to do so. Also beware of businesses advertising a similar product in an older or less advanced model without being fully transparent about it. You may think you’re saving money on an item, when in reality, you’re getting a style or model you didn’t want. This is where shopping at businesses that has a rated business profile on www.bbb.org helps as well.

Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022

Dreamstime

When you’re shopping Black Friday deals this year, the Better Business Bureau wants to help you stay safe.

Know where to turn when you need advice

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Know where to turn when you need advice

Better Business Bureau 3 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

As a consumer, it is hard to know where to turn for reliable information. The web is full of blogs, advertisements and scam artists, all vying for your eyes on their content. Some bloggers are simply trying to help, others have been paid to look like they’re giving honest reviews. Some websites are neutral but provide information that’s not exactly pertinent to your location or situation. Even with powerful search engines, finding an answer is not as easy as it seems.

When it comes to our money, those answers we find carry even more weight. Consumers have to be extra-careful online as they navigate surging waves of misinformation and fraud. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) wants to help. The not-for-profit corporation has tied all of its resources together in a central hub to give you valuable information that suits your specific needs.

Did you have a poor experience at a local store? You can file a complaint with the BBB, which will work with the consumer and business to help find a solution. Are you simply looking for a local contractor? You can search reliable companies that have pledged to work in good faith or see what reviews and rankings all companies have. Are you worried about local scams targeting your aging loved ones? You can see what scams are prevalent in your area, what their tactics are, and what you need to do to ensure you and your family don’t become victims.

BBB’s Consumer Resources give you all of this in a one-stop location — www.bbb.org/consumer-resources can direct you to millions of tools and articles, each one specific to your needs. Consumer HQ contains a wealth of knowledge on everything from your home to your holiday shopping. For example, with the holiday season right around the corner, you can learn how to avoid common pitfalls with pop-up shops, what you should consider for Black Friday, and how to budget yourself for the holidays.

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

Dreamstime

The Better Business Bureau wants to ensure you’re safe when encountering all kindes of retail and service experiences.

Looking for a contractor? Be sure to check with the BBB first

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Looking for a contractor? Be sure to check with the BBB first

Better Business Bureau 3 minute read Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022

Our homes are our sanctuaries. They can give us peace of mind after a long day, a place to celebrate milestones, and simply a space to brighten our moods daily. But our efforts to maintain or improve these spaces can quickly turn into nightmares if we’re not careful.

Since COVID-19 hit, Canada has seen a decline in available qualified contractors. We’ve also seen issues with supply chains for various materials. Combine these factors with a surge in scammers looking to make a quick buck and you have a bit of a minefield to wander. How can you find the right person to do the job well, affordably and without delay?

In your search, bbb.org should play a central role. Not only can the non-profit corporation provide third-party, reliable reviews of contractors and companies in your area, it can give you tips to avoid a headache-filled experience. The BBB has marketplace experts who give their advice in blogs on bbb.org. For example, they want you to be sure to ask your contractor for proof of insurance and licensure before getting started on a project. They can also point you to certain organizations to help you in your search, while telling you what you should be mindful of.

BBB.org contains a wealth of invaluable information for consumers, including the BBB ScamTracker. This is an extra tool that should play a consistent role in your purchasing habits. The ScamTracker tells you which scams are prevalent in your area, what they look like, and how to avoid them. For example, some people around Manitoba have reported “Genesis” as a scam, looking to trick people into signing up for its investment classes. Another consumer has reported Gosselin Promotions after trying to buy company jackets and not receiving a response for months.

Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022

If you are concerned that someone may be trying to scam you on a contracting job, you can search their name or company name in the BBB ScamTracker.

Help your community by recycling your old and unwanted computers

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Help your community by recycling your old and unwanted computers

Better Business Bureau 4 minute read Friday, Sep. 9, 2022

Behind the scenes of our busy society is a network of non-profit organizations, working diligently to change the lives of our friends, families and neighbours. We rarely see them, but the impacts they make ripple out to better our cities and towns for all of us. The new immigrant parents across the street may be going to Altered Minds in the evening to learn English so they can use their skills and knowledge to help their community and provide for their children. Your child’s friend who keeps getting tossed around from foster home to foster home and school to school may soon be able to enjoy the stability of family thanks to Fearless R2W.

These organizations will be the beneficiaries of the free electronic recycling event put on by the Better Business Bureau and the Electronic Recycling Association. The BBB wants to empower them to help even more Manitobans as they change lives despite the lack of resources available in the non-profit sphere.

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Friday, Sep. 9, 2022

You can recycle your unwanted computer equipment on Thursday, Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 875 St. James St. (in the Winners/HomeSense parking lot at Polo Plaza).

Old electronics collecting dust? Safe and eco-friendly event offers free solution

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Old electronics collecting dust? Safe and eco-friendly event offers free solution

Better Business Bureau 4 minute read Thursday, Sep. 1, 2022

We all have it. That one drawer in our desk or shelf at home that’s chalk-full of our old and unwanted electronics. A computer that works at about half a turtle’s speed, a hard drive you accidentally spilled coffee on, and some old USBs with who-knows-what on them. This collection continues to grow as you promise yourself you’ll deal with it when you have the time. Yet you never have the time. And when we do, we forget all about it. So it flourishes in dust and darkness.

Part of the problem is that many of us don’t really know what to do with old computers and drives. Is there enough there to salvage and sell? Can we recycle them? Or should we simply throw them in the trash and forget about it?

All three of these options put us at risk. We sometimes fail to realize the intelligence of the machines we’re looking to throw away. These are computers that we’ve used to log in to our emails, that we’ve made purchases through, and that we’ve saved a ton of information that could put us and our families in danger of identity theft and fraud. Even if we wipe the computer clean, programs exist that can recover that information, making that dusty slow computer a gold mine in the wrong person’s hands.

That’s why the Better Business Bureau and BBB Education Foundation are partnering with the Electronic Recycling Association to help Manitobans safely dispose of their unwanted electronics.

Thursday, Sep. 1, 2022

The BBB is hosting a e-waste recycling event on Thurs., Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 875 St. James St. (in the Winners/HomeSense parking lot at Polo Plaza).

You can trust a BBB business

Better Business Bureau 5 minute read Preview

You can trust a BBB business

Better Business Bureau 5 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022

It’s a strange contradiction. A departure from what many of us have learned in this era of social media, glam and presentation — every time we’ve walked past the mom-and-pop ice cream shop this summer, the line has nearly circled the block. The shop has about four employees, zero social media accounts and a website that looks like it was built (and last updated) in 1998.

Yet it stands as a staple of the neighbourhood and a success story, perfectly illustrating the oft-forgotten reality of business in 2022 — fancy graphics, professional videos and witty Instagram posts cannot alone build a business. The ice cream shop is locally famous for the quality of its product, the decency of its prices, and the sincerity of the owner’s smile. Never has a customer felt wronged in that shop, nor have they been disappointed with a transaction they’ve made. That’s because, even when a young child drops her cone upon exiting the shop, the employee on shift replaces it in a flash, stopping the tears as fast as they started.

Of course, these mom-and-pop shops are not the reality for many business owners in 2022. Few have owners on-site, never mind working the front counter. But their stories reveal the real foundation of business: trust.

Trust is simply everything.

Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022

Trust is simply everything in business, from big brand-names to your local mom-and-pop ice cream shop.

Beware a new online shopping scam

Better Business Bureau 3 minute read Preview

Beware a new online shopping scam

Better Business Bureau 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 6, 2022

There’s considerable risk when it comes to peer-to-peer selling on sites like Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji. Many of us know that, acknowledge it, and take necessary precautions to avoid the inherent danger that comes with meeting and making a deal with a complete stranger. Meet them in the daylight? Check. Bring along a friend? Check. Use a payment app to ensure you have the money before they drive away with your product? Check.

You may have checked every item on the safety list, and still become a victim of fraud. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is tracking a new scam that is catching even the savvy online traders.

Here’s how it works — you post something on Facebook Marketplace. A buyer agrees to purchase it and sends over the money. You receive confirmation from the payment app (in this case, Zelle) that the money is on its way to you, and was sent from the purchaser’s business account. You must upgrade your account to business to receive it. The buyer agrees to pay for your upgrade in order to make the transaction work. They send you screenshots proving the money has been sent and deducted from their account.

Shortly after the deal, the “buyer” becomes persistent that you must pay them back for the business account upgrade. If it’s a big purchase, you may think it’s easier to give in than deal with the complaints, especially since you’ve made a good deal and will still come out on top.

Wednesday, Jul. 6, 2022

Scammers have become extremely sophisticated at mimicking real companies, so if you are shopping on a peer-to-peer site, be sure to check all transaction details thoroughly.

Fighting the scam-riddled marketplace

Better Business Bureau 2 minute read Preview

Fighting the scam-riddled marketplace

Better Business Bureau 2 minute read Friday, Jun. 17, 2022

Don’t walk by yourself in the dark, always take stock of your surroundings, lock your doors as soon as you’re in your car, especially at night.

You’ve heard these safety tips and others from your parents a million times. You may now be passing on the same advice to your children. It’s good advice but we seem to sometimes forget that criminals also await us in the light. Thanks to technology, they can sit at the corner of our everyday activities, hoping to take advantage of their next victims. You could be simply filing your taxes, getting a gift for a friend or family member or responding to flooding in your home. The next thing you know, you’ve been duped out of your hard-earned cash, a stranger has your personal information and water keeps filling your basement.

Avoiding scammers and dishonest businesses can be difficult these days. But it doesn’t have to be. Consumers who depend on the Better Business Bureau get quick and informative answers to their questions — “Can I trust this business?”; “What experiences have others had?”; “Does this site belong to the real company or is in an imitation run by fraudsters?” — all these questions are easily answered by searching the business name on bbb.org or on the BBB ScamTracker. The site houses the most reliable reviews (not ones posted by the business under fake names by predatory competitors) because they’re vetted by the BBB team, and ScamTracker will update you on the latest fraud attempts in your area.

Business owners who have committed to running honest, reliable companies shine through on bbb.org, making it easier to find someone who will get the job done properly at a fair price. BBB-accredited companies are held to higher standards, and must comply with the BBB code in order to keep their accreditation. That code includes being transparent, responsive and safeguarding clients’ privacy. These businesses incorporate the standards of trust into their everyday practices.

Friday, Jun. 17, 2022

Business owners who have committed to running honest, reliable companies shine through on bbb.org.

Avoid adding stress to stress this May

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Avoid adding stress to stress this May

Better Business Bureau 3 minute read Wednesday, May. 25, 2022

It’s often listed among the top five most stressful events. It may sound exciting or even relatively straightforward — but moving to a new city or a new home can seriously elevate the anxiety in our lives. The last thing anyone needs during that process is to be taken advantage of. But that’s exactly what’s happening in Canada, as May kicks off the busiest moving season of the year.

Scammers and untrustworthy groups have used the pandemic to sink their teeth into another market — residents moving between provinces. It’s the perfect storm for fraudsters — stressed-out customers, demand for movers, a costly service (and thus a big score) and easily gained control. After all, those who are moving expect to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars to strangers to take all their belongings from one place to another.

That makes it far too easy for dishonest individuals to label themselves a moving company, take your money and steal your possessions. Some groups may be looking to simply make a quick buck by offering a service for less, only to add on numerous fees once they have control of everything you own. Some may go as far as to hold your belongings hostage and demand you pay extra to get it back. They may say your load was overweight, or that they ran into an “unexpected problem” which, in reality, they expected all along.

Others put in less effort all together. They advertise a moving service for less, require a down payment, then never show up.

Wednesday, May. 25, 2022

The Better Business Bureau and the Canadian Association of Movers want to warn consumers about scammers in the spring and summer moving season.

Watch out for cryptocurrency scams

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Watch out for cryptocurrency scams

Better Business Bureau 3 minute read Wednesday, Apr. 27, 2022

As with any trend, as it rises, so do the people looking to take advantage of it. Unfortunately, when it comes to cryptocurrency, those people are taking direct aim at your money. In fact, reports of cryptocurrency scams have more than tripled over the past three years, according to numbers from the Better Business Bureau. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has noticed a similar trend, noting losses skyrocketed from $8.3 million in 2019 to $75 million in 2021.

As more people understand what cryptocurrency is (a digital payment system that allows anyone to send and receive funds, which can be cashed out into traditional money), more have gotten into the game. But there are still many misconceptions and unknowns for those eager to buy and trade cryptocurrency, making them prime targets for scammers.

A common trick has been setting up online platforms that mimic reputable cryptocurrency apps. For example, fraudsters set up a site called “phanton.com” to imitate the legitimate crypto site found at “phantom.com.” Once users set up a wallet in a fake-but realistic-looking site, they unknowingly transfer their funds straight into a scammer’s wallet.

Another common scam preys on even the most savvy crypto traders by getting them to invest in fake tokens or coins. Tokens are new projects that users can trade their currency for, expecting the investment to grow. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to create fake tokens and fool consumers into buying them. The Squid Game rug pull is a recent example of this, where fraudulent developers created a token they claimed could be used in play-to-earn games, then traded for other types of cryptocurrencies. They called it Squid Game to capitalize on the success of the popular Netflix series. After the value rose exponentially, to the glee of its investors, it abruptly disappeared. The creators took an estimated $3.3 million while making it difficult for investors to take their money out at any time.

Wednesday, Apr. 27, 2022

As more and more people begin investing in cryptocurrency, more and more scammers are takinig advantage of a mostly unregulated field.

Springing into your next home project?

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Springing into your next home project?

Better Business Bureau 3 minute read Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2022

The snow melts, the grass turns green and flowers begin to bloom. After a long, cold winter, spring is ever-welcome this year. Alongside nature’s renewal, homeowners often use this time to complete a renewal of their own. Home renovations are especially popular and, whether you’re looking at a new kitchen or a painting project, it’s buyer beware in the current climate.

Scammers often take advantage of those looking for professional services. They may raise project costs halfway through the job, take your down payment then never show up, do a “rush job” or use poor quality products without your knowledge.

While some are pure fraudsters pretending to be professionals, others are simply looking to widen their profit margin at your expense. Either way, you can protect yourself with a few simple tips from the Better Business Bureau.

First of all, be wary of any company that approaches you for work, claiming they’ve been working in the neighbourhood on another project and have leftover supplies. They may try to hook you with the promise of a deal, since it would cost them less to transport that supplies to a closer location, but this can also be a red flag, a sign of a scammer.

Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2022

Spring is when many people begin planning home renovation projects and unscrupulous tradespeople take advantage of those anxious to get started.

Protect yourself this fraud prevention month

Better Business Bureau 3 minute read Preview

Protect yourself this fraud prevention month

Better Business Bureau 3 minute read Monday, Feb. 28, 2022

First, second or third? Which link do you tend to click after typing something into your favourite search engine?

Your choice likely has less to do with the link order but more with the look of each link title and subtext. Some links appear legitimate, while others are clearly not what you’re looking for. Most of us don’t spend too much time analyzing, though, as doing an online search is a small and regular task in our busy days.

But this is where scammers take advantage of unsuspecting surfers. They lurk near the surface of online searches, waiting for people to click on the second link instead of the third. The trouble is, that second link may take you to a website that exactly mimics the real one.

That’s what happened to a Calgary woman looking for Hoka shoes. The only difference between the fake site and the real one was the final three letters in the url. The consumer bought a pair of hiking boots, only to later discover the site was fake. The boots never showed up, despite another fake email stating they had been delivered, and the scammers had her credit card information, name, contact information and home address. She wisely cancelled the card and alerted BBB to the ploy.

Monday, Feb. 28, 2022

Dreamstime.com
The Better Business Bureau offers resources that can help you avoid falling victim to online scams and phishing schemes.

A ‘window of opportunity’ we can’t miss

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A ‘window of opportunity’ we can’t miss

Better Business Bureau Foundation 3 minute read Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022

It’s often not until later in life that we begin to appreciate some of the skills we learned as children and teens. We may also recognize life skills we missed out on. While it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks, there are times in our lives when learning is most effective.

Researchers at Harvard University have identified the best “windows of opportunity” for skill building — early childhood and adolescence. They say these times are optimal for giving youth the abilities they need to navigate their various commitments (work, school, relationships) successfully. At the core, these abilities are comprised of planning, focus, self-control, awareness and flexibility.

In other words, they say young people should learn how to set and meet goals, concentrate on what’s most important, control how they respond to their emotions and situations, recognize other people and the bigger picture around them, and adapt to changing circumstances. When youth learn these skills and integrate them into their daily routines, they create habits that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

Therefore, the opportunities for youth to gain and cultivate these areas are of great importance. Harvard experts say this learning involves helping teens problem-solve with real-life situations, spot and plan for triggers, take other people’s view of stressors and focus on personally motivating goals. All these pillars of learning are encapsulated in the BBB Foundation LIFT certificate program. It teaches participants how to engage in ethical decision-making, another core skill of successful and community-minded individuals. As the program takes youth through the path to becoming ethical decision-makers, it builds up their planning, focus, self-control, awareness and flexibility in the Harvard-recommended ways.  

Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022

Dreamstime.com
Adolescence is one of the best windows of opportunity for skill building in young people.

BBB helps businesses revolutionize marketplace

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BBB helps businesses revolutionize marketplace

Better Business Bureau 3 minute read Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022

In a world seemingly overrun by corporate greed, there are companies quietly working to revolutionize traditional business models. They’re different from the core. That’s because they centre their business around social responsibility, which is incorporated into their business strategy. Their decisions must centre around a common-good goal, such as reducing waste, poverty or illness.

This is more than a one-off feel-good campaign. These are businesses committed to improving the world around them. That goal is ingrained in the company’s existence and purpose.  

Take CVS, for example. The largest pharmacy chain in the U.S. stopped selling cigarettes in 2014, as it took a stand for Americans’ health. It also launched programs to help smokers quit. That choice cost CVS $2 billion in tobacco sales in the first year, but helped the company rethink its purpose and remodel its business with a health-first perspective. That led to a sizeable jump in revenue, and increased social responsibility. CVS has now reached 13 million youth with education on tobacco use and committed $50 million over five years to helping people live tobacco-free lives.

There are also many clothing brands that were built with environmental sustainability in mind. The products are made in cleaner fashion, business executives play key roles in green groups, and a portion of their profits are set aside to further environmental initiatives. These businesses are finding markets to thrive in, thanks to consumers who are becoming increasingly socially conscious. Nearly 90 per cent of consumers said they would switch brands to one that is associated with a good cause if the products are of a similar price and quality.

Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022

Dreamstime.com
CVS, the largest pharmacy chain in America, is one example of a business that has centred its focus on a health-first perspective.

Sometimes we need to take the long way

Better Business Bureau Foundation 3 minute read Preview

Sometimes we need to take the long way

Better Business Bureau Foundation 3 minute read Monday, Jan. 17, 2022

“What’s the shortest way to get there?”

We ask ourselves that question, consciously or subconsciously, on a daily basis. We want to be more efficient in our work, save time in our texts (thank you, abbreviations), and take the fastest route to the grocery store.

In our pursuit of efficiency, many of us do not want to sacrifice quality for speed but it’s actually a natural human process. Our mind uses shortcuts to race through all the information we have stored to form opinions, make decisions, and respond to situations.

While these mental shortcuts are helpful in many cases, they can also make us jump to unfair conclusions.

Monday, Jan. 17, 2022

Dreamstime.com
The Better Business Bureau Foundation’s LIFT program helps people learn to make ethical decisions, including how to stop and assess online discrimination and hatred.

Visit the BBB at the Renovation Show

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Visit the BBB at the Renovation Show

Better Business Bureau 3 minute read Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022

A new year, a new kitchen?

As Winnipeggers tackle their biggest home improvement projects in 2022, many will flock to the Winnipeg Renovation Show at RBC Convention Centre from Feb. 18 to 20. It’s an exciting time for consumers to find the businesses that will help them create the interior design they’ve always dreamed of, and it’s a good opportunity for local businesses to show their community how they can serve them.

It’s also the right time to connect with the Better Business Bureau, which will have a booth at the Renovation Show. The BBB wants all consumers to have positive experiences when making a big purchase such as a home renovation. Therefore, they encourage you to research a company on www.bbb.org before doling out your hard-earned cash. The BBB keeps reliable reviews, expert investigations, and other need-to-know information on businesses so that you can be a better-informed customer.

This process allows honest, reputable companies to stand out. They, too, should also visit www.bbb.org to ensure their company profiles are up to date.

Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022

Manitoba Homebuilders’ Assocation
The Manitoba Home Builders’ Association booth (above) will be one of many at the Winnipeg Renovation Show. The Better Business Bureau will also have a booth at the show.

Bridging the gap between dreams and careers

Better Business Bureau 3 minute read Preview

Bridging the gap between dreams and careers

Better Business Bureau 3 minute read Monday, Dec. 6, 2021

There’s a wealth of information all around us that doesn’t exist behind a screen or even in a book. Yet it’s a resource that’s rarely tapped. Each of us is a walking encyclopedias, full of life and career information.

But, unless we know someone, we largely fail to learn from each other. Even more rare is the passing of wisdom and advice from our professional lives, despite the many lessons we’ve learned in our various careers.

But a made-in-Manitoba program is looking to turn on the taps of knowledge, allowing valuable information to flow from field experts to aspiring youth. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg is connecting young people between the ages of 14 and 25 to working professionals, giving them twice-a-month access to a person whose steps they hope to follow.

It’s called Big Possibilities, a fitting name for a program that helps young people bring far-away goals into reach, and it’s brought to life through a partnership between the Better Business Bureau and the River East Transcona School Division, with the support of the RBC Future Launch Foundation. Big Possibilities bridges the gap between career aspirations and career paths.

Monday, Dec. 6, 2021

Supplied image
The Better Business Bureau and the River East Transcona School Division, with the support of the RBC Future Launch Foundation, have launched a mentorship program called Big Possibilities.

Empowering youth to make big decisions

Better Business Bureau Foundation 3 minute read Preview

Empowering youth to make big decisions

Better Business Bureau Foundation 3 minute read Monday, Nov. 22, 2021

So much is decided for our young people. Where they will go to school, what they will take, what events they’ll attend, and what they’ll eat for dinner.

When it comes to serious family decisions, they’re often on the outskirts, left to go along with what the adults decide. Much of this is for their own well-being, but how can we help young people cultivate effective decision-making skills when they’ve become accustomed to having choices made for them?

We need to start taking a more deliberate approach to teaching decision-making skills. That means get them thinking seriously about the choices before them — what the options are, what those options may lead to, and how those options would affect themselves and those around them. These are the tenets of good decision-making habits, which will serve as the guideposts for each young person’s path in life.

Youth practise these habits through games, sports and general play. Team games get them thinking about how to work together and use the tools and skills available to them to achieve the desired outcome: to win.

Monday, Nov. 22, 2021

Dreamstime.com
The Better Business Bureau Foundation helps young people learn to make ethical choices.

The complex work behind successful brands

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The complex work behind successful brands

Better Business Bureau 3 minute read Monday, Nov. 8, 2021

Success is rarely achieved overnight. You’ve likely heard something like that before. It’s popular because it’s true. Even those who seem to quickly rise to fame have put time, energy and work behind their craft before their ‘eureka’ moments.

The mantra rings even louder when it comes to business. Creating a brand consumers will love takes more than a fancy design and commitment to a good product. In a saturated marketplace, entrepreneurs must carefully and methodically research, analyze and create.

The first and perhaps most important step is to complete a competitor analysis. In other words, you must research the companies with whom you’ll be competing for sales. You should undertake a thorough investigation into their marketing and business strategies, what’s working for them and what isn’t, who their audience is, and trends or gaps in the market.

In order to do this, you can first look at your business plan. What are your products, goals, strengths, weaknesses and reputable values? Once you start answering these questions for your own brand, you can better understand that of your competitors’.

Monday, Nov. 8, 2021

Dreamstime.com
Building a successful brand doesn’t happen overnight.

Get the job you want with unspoken skills

Better Business Bureau Foundation 3 minute read Preview

Get the job you want with unspoken skills

Better Business Bureau Foundation 3 minute read Monday, Oct. 25, 2021

Finding the right workplace is like finding the right home. After all, we do spend many of our waking hours there. But when we’re doing employment searches, we don’t get the benefit of walk-throughs, home evaluations, and the luxury of time.

We often have to decide if we’ll accept a position before setting foot in a workplace and understanding the culture. We’ve grown to accept this because it’s about the position, not the people, right?

Not always. How many of you are actively seeking a new workplace, or dreaming of it? Due to either your current environment or perhaps you simply haven’t obtained the position or level you’re aiming for.

Regardless of your motivation, finding a new job isn’t simply about boosting your resume. You can beef it up by taking extra courses or gaining valuable work experience, but employers are looking for candidates with strong personal attributes almost as much as they’re looking for people who can do the job.

Monday, Oct. 25, 2021

Dreamstime.com
The Better Business Bureau Foundation’s LIFT certification gives you skills — and tells prospective employers — that you will help build a healthy work environment.

Steps to success in your side hustle

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Steps to success in your side hustle

Better Business Bureau 3 minute read Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021

Social media is swirling with advertisements but more and more, they’re coming from people we know. Friends or acquaintances starting baking businesses, enrolling in multi-level marketing companies, or creating content to appease a sponsor.  

October is small business month and this year it may be bigger than ever. It seems more and more people are starting their own businesses, side hustles, and freelancing gigs. A Zapier study showed one in three Americans had a side job, with many more hoping to start one. The extra cash is nice but another motivating factor is passion. In fact, studies have shown that people with their own micro-businesses are happier in their everyday lives.

Whether you’ve started your own business, or plan to, you’ll need to cultivate brand awareness to succeed. The size of your business doesn’t matter, the same principles apply. In fact, the same principles generally apply even if you have no desire to own your business or side gig but simply want to work your way up in your current company or industry by developing your personal brand.

Regardless of your intention, the No. 1 rule when it comes to brand awareness is transparency.

Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021

Dreamstime.com
Whether in your side business or your main business, the principles of brand-building remain the same, andtransparency is key.

Looking for work, finding frustration

Better Business Bureau 3 minute read Preview

Looking for work, finding frustration

Better Business Bureau 3 minute read Thursday, Sep. 16, 2021

For some, the pandemic came with a major professional upheaval. Many lost jobs. Others discovered their current role wasn’t working for them and sought to make changes. They did what most of us do when browsing for a new employer - they went online. And that’s when the scammers got them.

Advertising well-paying, flexible jobs, the fraudsters behind the fake postings reeled in their victims’ social insurance numbers and banking information. Sometimes they required payment in advance for training, equipment or materials. But despite the ads’ convincing façade, the job opportunities were completely made-up. Victims lost thousands of dollars and their identities.

A new Better Business Bureau study shows an alarming increase in the number of people who fell victim to job scams during the pandemic. In fact, job scam losses reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre nearly doubled in 2020. And the age group most impacted was the tech-savvy age group of 25-to-34-year-olds.

In many cases, fraudsters posed as management at real companies, such as Amazon and Walmart. In other cases, suspicious victims researched the headquarters of companies they’ve never heard of, and found the physical locations to be accurate. They then accepted the jobs, gave out their banking information for direct deposit, did the work but never got paid.  

Thursday, Sep. 16, 2021

Dreamstime.com
Online employment scammers increased their activities during the pandemic and the Better Business Bureau wants you to be aware.

Starting over, stronger this time

Better Business Bureau Foundation 5 minute read Preview

Starting over, stronger this time

Better Business Bureau Foundation 5 minute read Thursday, Sep. 2, 2021

We are social beings. But after a year and a half of pandemic restrictions, we may have to relearn some of those social skills which used to be automatic. We’re not talking simply about chatting with your friends at a restaurant. We also must relearn how to navigate complex workplace issues, interpersonal dilemmas, and professional boundaries. Our social skills expand into the realms of honesty, trust-building and respect. These tools will be in the spotlight as kids and teens head back to school, more adults return to their workplaces and others begin new jobs or volunteer positions this fall.As we rebuild these communal environments, we have an opportunity to do it in a way that makes them stronger than before. But if we go back into our workplaces with the same social skills we had prior to COVID, we’re less likely to create a stronger environment for all. Even if we like to think we’re positive team-builders, we all have areas to improve.One way we can do that is through active learning. There are short courses that teach us how to analyze and respond to situations in a more ethical manner, like the Better Business Bureau Foundation’s LIFT program. LIFT can be altered to suit the needs of different participating groups but it achieves the same goal: giving people a new, ethical lens through which they can approach daily choices or complex issues.Learning more about ethical decision-making will not only contribute to a more positive work or school environment, but it will reward us with lasting personal relationships. When we more fully understand how our actions and choices affect the people around us, we’re better equipped to make respectful, honest decisions. Those choices foster trust and reciprocation.It’s not always easy to be honest or to make the ethical choice, but these values give back to us more than we often realize. They give us esteem in others’ eyes, which leads to enriching interactions, meaningful connections, and a strong personal brand. All of these things also give us professional and personal advantages.It’s not very often that we have a chance to begin again. As we hit that restart switch on our professional and personal lives, let’s take this opportunity to consciously make ethical choices, to come together and make our communities stronger.For more information on the BBBF’s LIFT program, please contact: bbbef.orgThe mission of BBB Foundation is to support the future of the Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario business community, raising up an ethical marketplace for tomorrow, by creating both ethics education and opportunities for students and businesses.Trade-mark of the International Association of Better Business Bureaus used under licence.

We are social beings. But after a year and a half of pandemic restrictions, we may have to relearn some of those social skills which used to be automatic. 

We’re not talking simply about chatting with your friends at a restaurant. We also must relearn how to navigate complex workplace issues, interpersonal dilemmas, and professional boundaries. Our social skills expand into the realms of honesty, trust-building and respect. These tools will be in the spotlight as kids and teens head back to school, more adults return to their workplaces and others begin new jobs or volunteer positions this fall.

As we rebuild these communal environments, we have an opportunity to do it in a way that makes them stronger than before. But if we go back into our workplaces with the same social skills we had prior to COVID, we’re less likely to create a stronger environment for all. Even if we like to think we’re positive team-builders, we all have areas to improve.

Thursday, Sep. 2, 2021

Dreamstime.com
Coming out of the pandemic means relearning how to navigate complex workplace issues, interpersonal dilemmas and professional boundaries.

Trust and why it matters in the marketplace

Better Business Bureau 3 minute read Preview

Trust and why it matters in the marketplace

Better Business Bureau 3 minute read Monday, Aug. 16, 2021

We all have that one friend who has the unique ability to shape every conversation to centre around them. They are fantastic speakers, but terrible listeners. And it’s hard for us to trust them with our emotions, fears, or insecurities because it seems as though they don’t really care. Businesses are like people. The ones that stick to touting how great they are, without connecting with or listening to their customers, have difficulty cultivating trust.

And trust matters.

Trust is what ties consumers to companies. It’s what allows them to exchange their hard-earned money for the goods and services they need and want. It’s what allows companies to flourish in their communities and communities to flourish around their companies.

Sadly, there are those who simply want to build their banks, without a care for how they’re breaching social norms and ethics. This is where the Better Business Bureau comes in.

Monday, Aug. 16, 2021

Dreamstime.com
The Better Business Bureau can be counted on to recommend trustworthy businesses and help consumers find their ways to trustworthy companies.