(WTVM) - BBB serving Central Georgia and the CSRA announced it is expanding its reach by merging with BBB serving East Alabama, West Georgia and Southwest Georgia.
The partnership will expand the BBB service area to a total of 83 counties, covering parts of Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.
This merger will benefit both businesses and consumers by offering enhanced BBB services to almost three million people across East Alabama, West Georgia, Southwest Georgia, Central Georgia, East Georgia and Western South Carolina and surrounding areas.
The newly combined territory will include more than 2,800 Accredited Businesses and will maintain offices in Columbus, Macon and Augusta. The name of the combined BBBs will change to Better Business Bureau Serving the Fall Line Corridor.
"With the merger, we will build on each other's strengths, combine resources and initiate new programs to meet the needs of today's businesses and consumers," says Kelvin Collins, BBB President and CEO. "We are committed to the success of this merger which results in expansion of BBB services throughout the communities in which we serve."
Consumers in the Chattahoochee Valley, Southwest Georgia and surrounding areas will see increased community outreach, higher social media engagement and regular alerts on scams and consumer issues affecting their area. They will also have real time access to BBB experts.
"This merger allows our BBB to position itself to continue to serve the local communities for decades to come," said Terry Tiller, Chairman of the newly combined BBB Board of Directors, "Not only are we committed to operating the three offices that we currently have, we are already discussing placing an office in Albany to better serve our southwest Georgia counties."
Businesses will have access to more services, joint advertising campaigns and BBB's corporate partnership program. Programs and services, like business ethics training and business workshops, will also be expanded.
"We are excited about this merger because of our mutual commitment to fulfilling BBB's mission to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust," said Al Gaston, Chairman of the BBB Board of Directors in Columbus. "By combining the strengths and resources of both trusted organizations, we will increase our ability to serve even more businesses and consumers."
Gaston added that this merger discussion was initiated more than two years ago, by current CEO, Kelvin Collins and retiring CEO, Leonard Crain and unanimously approved by board members representing both boards.
BBB will maintain current staff members and seek to immediately increase their presence by using the talents of combined employees. The merger will follow a proven model of success that has generated positive results throughout the country.