What to do after getting hacked

Kayla Vise

By Kayla Vise

Do you think you have what it takes to be the next Torch Award winner? Does your business demonstrate a solid commitment to marketplace trust? Better Business Bureau is now accepting entries for the regional 2016 Torch Awards for Ethics competition.

The bureau created the regional competition to recognize and celebrate ethical business practices for companies located in Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin.

Spotlighting these companies fits the bureau's mission, which is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust.

Any for-profit business in the 79-county service area of the bureau can submit an entry for the Torch Awards. Entrants must be in business for at least three years.

While the bureau Accreditation is not a requirement, businesses must be in good standing with the bureau and have at least a "B" rating to be considered for the award. Also, past winners can only enter once every three years.

Candidates will be evaluated by a panel of judges from the business and academic communities. The judging criteria includes these six categories: • Leadership commitment to ethical practices

• Communication of ethical practices

• Leadership practices to unify the organization

• Organizational commitment to performance management practices

• Organizational commitment to ethical human resource practices

• Organizational commitment to the community

The winner of the 2016 Torch Award has the unique opportunity to receive public recognition for their excellence in ethical business practices. Being selected as a Torch Award Winner is not only an honor, but includes the following recognition:

Inclusion in a press release announcing winners.

Announcements made via the Bureau's social media channels.

Inclusion in several Bureau promotional vehicles.

Lifetime use of the bureau Torch Awards Seal (As long as winners maintain a "B" rating with the Bureau).

Torch Award trophy presentation by the bureau.

Professional quality photos taken of the winning business by the bureau.

Website recognition.

Perpetual placement on Torch Awards winners page (As long as winners maintain a "B" rating with the Bureau).

Announcement and recognition at the Bureau Annual Meeting in February 2016.

Qualification to enter the 2016 International Torch Awards for Ethics.

Austin Real Estate Partners, Dyezz Surveillance and Abacus School of Austin were awarded the 2015 Bureau Torch Awards for Ethics in February.

Businesses may also register to attend a free "How to Submit Your Torch Entry" webinar on Thursday.

The deadline for submission is Oct. 14.

For consumer information, Business Reviews, to schedule a guest speaker or to file a complaint, visit your local Bureau online at bbb.org/central-texas.

Kayla Vise, is a public re lations specialist for the Better Business Bureau serving central, coastal, southwest Texas and the Permian Basin. Contact her at kvise@ austin.bbb.org.