BBB mulls cannabis, cybersecurity issues in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A conference is bringing hundreds of watchdogs to Grand Rapids this week.

Monday marked the first day of the Better Business Bureau’s annual conference, titled “Grand Vision, Rapid Impact.” It’s the first time Grand Rapids is hosting the gathering.

“We’ve been in some really big tourist cities and for Grand Rapids to be selected, it’s a real big honor to host one of these,” said Phil Catlett, president of the BBB Serving Western Michigan.

bbb national conference
The Better Business Bureau holds its national conference in Grand Rapids at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. (Oct. 7, 2019)

Catlett says the purpose of the conference is to find better ways for the 107-year-old company to operate. This year, they’re spending a lot of time focusing on challenges like cybersecurity and how to accredit online businesses.

“We know that people are feeling less and less trusting and less and less secure and one of the reasons BBB exists is so that you can feel safer and you know who to trust,” said Catlett.

Another issue the 200 CEOs and branch employees in attendance looked at is how to work with businesses in the cannabis industry.

“There’s a lot of new products that are popping up that weren’t popular a few years ago. Do we choose to accredit those businesses in those industries (like) marijuana or CBD, hemp? What’s our stance going to be on that?” Catlett said.

While the company heads are working to narrow down their best options, they’re not sharing the exact details. They say they believe big changes are afoot.

The conference continues through Tuesday, but it is not open to the public.

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