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Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Encourages Local Business Leaders to Participate in the Better Business Challenge with Proclamation of Support

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors showed their support for the first-ever Charlottesville Area Better Business Challenge Wednesday with an official Proclamation of Support.  Local government leaders agreed to support both “innovation and leadership in business” and “the broader community economic vitality, fostered by cost-efficient operations that are not negatively impacted by rising energy costs” as well as the collaborative and community-oriented nature that is at the heart of this friendly competition.

“The Board is very focused on promoting economic vitality in our community, and we see the Better Business Challenge as a friendly competition that can really help businesses improve their operations and reduce their costs,” said Board Chair Ann Mallek.  “We encourage county businesses to sign up and get involved in ways to find energy and water cost savings in the coming year.”

Interested businesses can join current participants and Challenge team members for a networking event, “Coffee and Conversations,” next Tuesday, August 9, 2011 from 8-9:30am at Cville Coffee 1301 Harris Street in Charlottesville.

Local business leaders began signing up late June to participate in the Better Business Challenge, a year-long points-based competition to help businesses better integrate sustainability and efficiency. At the heart of the Challenge is a scorecard structured to help businesses: take stock of their baseline and performance in six key areas (Energy, Transportation, Water, Waste, Purchasing, Innovation and Leadership); set goals for improvements and benchmarks for success; and take credit for those efforts and achievements as they are implemented.

To date nearly 40 businesses have agreed to participate in the Better Business Challenge, including, among others: Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, The Paramount, C’ville Coffee, 2RW Consulting, Center for Nonprofit Excellence, Tandem Friends School, Frys Spring Station Restaurant, The Virginia Shop, Pippin Hill Farm, Payne Ross and Associates, Triple C Camp, and Virginia Eagle Distributing.

“We’re excited to have the County’s full support of this opportunity for local businesses and hope more business leaders will follow their charge.   As I’ve been talking one-on-one to business owners and area business associations the reception (feedback  - the reaction?) has been extremely positive.  Everyone’s very excited about learning about energy and water cost-savings actions that businesses either have been doing or are planning to do during the course of the next year, “ said Teri Kent, Project Manager for the Better Business Challenge and Executive Director of Better World Betty. “Businesses everywhere are really looking at the ‘triple bottom line’ of profits, people and the planet.

All businesses that participate will be recognized and can obtain “Certified” and “Certified Plus” status by reaching certain point levels. A review team of area leaders will award the top scorers in small, medium and large businesses, as well as Biggest Loser, Kilowatt Crackdown, Top Innovator, Green Champion, and runners up.

“The Challenge offers diverse opportunities for businesses across Albemarle County to make smarter choices that can streamline operations, make more efficient use of resources, and slash energy and fuel costs,” said Cynthia Adams, LEAP’s Executive Director. “This is a win for businesses, a win for their customers and clients, and a win for the community, and we appreciate the vote of confidence the Board of Supervisors.”

Enrollment in the Challenge closes September 15, and the Challenge will end with an awards ceremony in the spring of 2012.

How to get in the game:
Website: (easy and free online registration)
Twitter: @CvilleBetterBiz
Facebook: “Charlottesville Better Business Challenge”
Suggestions: Non-business owners have a voice, too! Anyone can suggest their favorite business for the Challenge online, and we’ll reach out to them.   Or area residents can grab a small “Challenge Card” to take to their local business.

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