The Lake Houston Chamber saluted the area’s small businesses by emphasizing “The Six Cs.”
The first and most important “C” was the “Citizen of the Year” announcement when Chamber Chairman Jerry Martin revealed that the 2017 Citizen of the Year is Humble Mayor Merle Aaron.
Aaron was so surprised that he could only utter a quiet but genuine “Thank you” after he made his way to the podium through the standing and applauding crowd. Joining the mayor at the luncheon were Linda Aaron, the First Lady of Humble, their son, Merle, Jr., daughter, Melissa, and their spouses.
The mayor’s job in Humble is a volunteer position with no salary. Aaron worked 16 straight days during Hurricane Harvey. He attends dozens of events each month and spends significant time and resources helping to guide the city.
The second “C” at the Salute Luncheon, garnering almost as much applause as the mayor, was “Costco” and the announcement by Costco representative Adam Garner that the flooded Humble Costco will reopen Nov. 30.
The last four “Cs” were voiced by Tim Jeffcoat, the luncheon speaker. The chamber’s annual Salute to Small Business was held Nov. 16 at The Golf Club of Houston.
“I’ve divided up our responsibilities at the Small Business Administration into ‘Four Cs,’” Jeffcoat said, “Counseling, Contracts, Capital and Crises.”
Jeffcoat, district director for the Houston office, spoke about how the SBA can help Lake Houston’s small businesses create a business, grow a business and even survive a disaster.
Jeffcoat’s final “C” was Crisis, a timely one for Lake Houston.
“We provide low-interest disaster loans to help small businesses and homeowners recover,” Jeffcoat said. “We’ve already assisted more than 1,500 Houston businesses and more than 24,000 homeowners with more than $2 billion in assistance.”
Jeffcoat cautioned that SBA representatives will leave Houston soon. He encouraged businesses and homeowners hurt by Hurricane Harvey to get their applications in quickly.
Small business owners and operators make up 90 percent of the Lake Houston’s membership, according to Chamber President Jenna Armstrong, and are the backbone of the Lake Houston economy.
As the luncheon ended, Minuteman Press owner Connie Chandler reminded chamber members to support Lake Houston’s small businesses on Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 25.
“Last year, 112 million shoppers in the U.S.A. supported their small, local businesses to the tune of $5.4 billion,” Chandler said. “Let’s all do our part this year and support our small businesses.”
In place of their monthly luncheon, the chamber will host its annual Elected Officials Reception Tuesday, Dec. 12, 8 a.m., at the Golf Club of Houston, 5860 Wilson Road.