Miller Electric Nederland’s ‘business of year’
By Chris Moore
The Nederland Chamber of Commerce announced B.C. Miller Electric Co. as its small business of the year.
The company will be honored during the Nederland Chamber Annual Banquet on Thursday.
B.C. Miller opened its doors in 1946. The Miller family owned it until Mitch Macon and then-partner Gary Hamby bought the company in 2009. Macon bought out Hamby in 2015.
“It’s a huge honor,” owner Macon said. “To be even considered as the small business of the year is a huge honor. To be recognized at all is nice. I was very taken aback by the phone call (by Nederland Chamber President and CEO Diana LaBorde) when she told me.”
LaBorde did not return calls for comment.
Macon said he takes pride in knowing that local small businesses will do everything they can to help the customers, even if it means directing them to another store to find a part.
“People will come over and they are looking for this widget or this small electrical component or part they need,” Macon said. “We try to help them find it if we don’t have it. A lot of times people are discouraged by the big box stores and big corporations. They would rather buy from someone locally.”
The personal connections made are just as important as any business exchange, Macon said.
“Sometimes, people will come in and sit down and have a cup of coffee and tell you about the latest project they are working on or come in and want to talk to you about a problem they are having at the lake,” he said. “You may not make a sale out of it, but you develop a relationship and those people will support you day in and day out.”
Macon said Small Business Saturdays and other events put on by the local chambers are important to the success of the local businesses.
“(The Chamber) is more supportive of retail stuff than it is of our line,” Macon said. “I’ve called them and asked about certain things that I don’t need every day, like packing peanuts. Someone locally had it that was a chamber member. It’s nice to have that relationship where people support each other. They quickly give you two or three names.
“Sometimes, it will be someone in Port Arthur. Those chambers work pretty well together. I was on the chamber for years and we worked well with Port Neches, Groves and Port Arthur. Those chambers stick together.”
The banquet will be held at the Benton’s.