Better Business Bureau (BBB) recently announced that Carport Central has been selected as a winner of its highest award, the BBB Torch Award for Ethics! BBB of Central and Northwest NC serves 19 NC counties across the Piedmont Triad, foothills, and mountains, and will host its 2019 Torch Awards Gala at The Millennium Center in Winston-Salem on Tuesday, September 10. While there are dozens and dozens of metal building manufacturers and dealers in our region, Carport Central (headquartered in Mount Airy) is the first Triad-area business in the metal buildings industry to earn this special distinction.
Carport Central is incredibly humbled and honored to be among the class of winners for the 2019 BBB Torch Award for Ethics. When brothers Albert and Jay Lara founded Carport Central back in 2014, they didn’t set out to win awards. Their goal was much simpler; they really just wanted to help people – something for which the metal buildings industry isn’t often known. Being presented this award is indeed a high honor, but beyond that it’s a validation of the vision and drive that continue to motivate the Lara brothers. They’ve always pushed Carport Central to innovate, blaze new trails, and find better ways to do business, while also maintaining a commitment to treat all of its customers, employees, and business partners fairly. It’s a business model that’s worked well, too – over the span of five short years, Carport Central has grown to serve 48 states, and is now one of the largest online providers of metal structures in America!
You may ask, what gives BBB the authority to present such an award? You’ve probably heard of them, and you may even recognize their torch logo, but do you know the story of the BBB and what they’re all about? For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2018, people turned to BBB more than 173 million times for BBB Business Profiles on nearly 5.4 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at BBB.org. The International Association of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Contrary to what some may think, the role of BBB isn’t to judge the quality of a company’s products or services, or even to recommend one company over another. BBB isn’t a chamber of commerce, in that regard. Rather, the primary job of BBB is to make unbiased, truthful information available to consumers about the businesses and organizations in their communities. A business’ BBB profile includes any complaints filed by consumers, customer reviews, government actions, ad reviews, investigations, and other information that can help a consumer decide about doing business with a particular company.
Over its 100+ years of service, the BBB has built a brand name that is synonymous with trust, transparency, and fairness. According to data collected by the International Association of Better Business Bureaus, 70 percent of consumers say they would be more likely to buy from a BBB Accredited Business, and 84 percent of consumers believe BBB Accreditation means a company meets high standards of trustworthiness. Businesses who wish to become accredited with BBB must apply and then verify that they meet the eight BBB Standards for Trust:
Carport Central has been Accredited with BBB since 2015, and we’re proud to say that we consistently carry BBB’s highest rating of A+!
This now brings us to the subject of BBB’s Torch Award for Ethics. Being Accredited with BBB is a significant benchmark in itself, but being considered for a Torch Award is another thing entirely. The Torch Awards for Ethics is the most prestigious honor BBB can present to a business. Being a recipient indicates the business not only believes in the high standards of honesty, integrity and transparency promoted by BBB, but also consistently acts on them and continuously integrates them into its daily practices.
The selection process is lengthy and involved. BBB of Central and Northwest NC narrowed Accredited Business applicants down to a pool of 11 finalists for 2019. Teams of marketing majors from UNCG and WSSU were then assigned to partner with individual businesses in helping create their respective award application portfolios. (To learn more about the special experience Carport Central shared with its assigned marketing student team from WSSU – including pictures and video – click here!)
Each application is required to include artifacts and documentation that speak to how the nominated business is committed to each of the six BBB Torch Awards for Ethics Criteria for Consideration:
The Torch Awards candidate submissions are not evaluated by BBB staff, but are presented to an independent panel of judges for consideration. The judges then choose the winners based upon which finalists they feel best emulate all six of the BBB Torch Awards for Ethics criteria.
Carport Central appreciates everything BBB does for our local businesses and communities. We’re also thankful to them for choosing us as a finalist for the 2019 Torch Award for Ethics, and we really appreciate the judges who saw fit to select us as a winner of this prestigious award!
In receiving this honor, we’re reminded of two quotes that help communicate what we believe at Carport Central:
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” ~ Simon Sinek
“Culture’s not part of the game, it IS the game. If you get the culture right, then everything else gets a lot easier.” ~ Lee Cockerell