Better Business Bureau and City of Cleveland Launch New Age-Friendly Certification for Local Businesses

The City of Cleveland Department of Aging and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Serving Greater Cleveland announced the launch of the Age-Friendly Business Program.  Cleveland businesses can now become an age-friendly business by BBB Serving Greater Cleveland through a certification and training process.

“As an age-friendly city, Cleveland remains dedicated to the safety and comfort of all of our residents, including our seniors,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “This collaboration is a direct result of my Age-Friendly Cleveland Action Plan and moves us one step closer to ensuring seniors can actively participate in their communities and stay connected as they age.”

An age-friendly business is one that offers safe and secure environments, services and trained staff for their older patrons. Businesses interested in becoming age-friendly certified can begin the process by applying through BBB. Following application and an annual certification fee, businesses must participate in site evaluation performed by AARP Ohio volunteers. The evaluation reviews the business’s physical environment, staff and personnel, marketing, and overall customer experience. Once the business receives feedback on their site evaluation, an age and disability training is scheduled. Following successful completion of these criteria, a business may be deemed as age-friendly.

“BBB is excited to partner with the City on this new program,” said BBB president, Sue McConnell. “The Age-friendly Business initiative will encourage and assist Cleveland businesses to address the needs of older customers.”

“As adults in Cleveland aged 60 and over are projected to outnumber those who are 18 and under by 2030, BBB Cleveland and the Cleveland Department of Aging are addressing the needs of that market with the launch of the Age-Friendly Business Certification Program,” said Director of Aging Mary McNamara. “Together, we will help Cleveland businesses provide a more welcoming and inclusive environment for all.”

Following certification, age-friendly businesses will receive a window cling and certificate they can display in their storefront and on their marketing materials. Age-friendly certified businesses will also be featured on BBB Cleveland’s website in the Age-Friendly Business Directory and receive recognition at City of Cleveland senior events. While businesses need not be accredited to apply for age-friendly certification, they must be located within the city of Cleveland and have a rating of B or higher with BBB.

BBB Cleveland and the Cleveland Department of Aging’s initiative comes following the City of Cleveland’s certification as an age-friendly city by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015. According to WHO, “Age-friendly environments foster healthy and active aging. The physical and social environments in cities and communities are powerful influences on the experience of aging and the opportunities that aging affords.”

The City of Cleveland Department of Aging will host the annual Senior Day celebration on Tuesday, May 21 at 10 a.m. in Cleveland Public Hall. Learn more about Senior Day at This summer, Cleveland Department of Aging will also host Silver Spokes, a series of age-friendly cycling expos aimed for older adults in Cleveland. These events are free and open to all seniors. To find more information or apply to become an Age-Friendly Certified business in the City of Cleveland, visit at