Better Business Bureau (BBB, Serving Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas Plains, and Southwest Iowa is now accepting nominations and online applications through April 28 for the BBB Torc h Awards for Ethics and BBB Spark Awards.

BBB Spark Awards honor entrepreneurs, startup founders, and new business owners who cultivate the Three C’s of Trust: Character, Culture, and Community. Individuals are eligible to apply if they were under the age of 45 before January 1, and operate a business located in Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas Plains, or Southwest Iowa. The company run by the leader doesn’t need to be BBB Accredited for the person to apply. Find more information on the BBB FAQ page.

“At the heart of a trustworthy marketplace are entrepreneurs creating businesses that will transform and enhance the communities they serve,” said BBB President and CEO Jim Hegarty. “We’re excited to shine a light on those who have elevated companies and communities.”

BBB Torch Awards for Ethics focus on demonstrated ethical business practices, rather than a company’s growth, profitability or popularity.

“These awards are a unique spotlight for the integrity-driven organizations in our communities that do the right thing when no one is looking,” said Hegarty. “This will be our 26th year highlighting organizations that each of us can be proud of. The BBB Torch Awards for Ethics embodies BBB’s mission of advancing marketplace trust. We can’t wait to celebrate with all the winners of these important awards.”

Businesses and charities in Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota and Southwest Iowa that have operated under the same ownership for three or more years and have earned at least a “B” rating with the BBB are eligible to apply. Organizations do not need to be BBB Accredited to apply, and there are no fees associated with applying.

Independent panels of judges from the business and philanthropic arenas will select the award recipients. The application deadline is April 28. Those interested can apply online.

BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. BBB services to consumers are free. BBB provides objective advice, BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit for more information.