Several Orange County Organizations and businesses participated in the 2nd annual Business Development Week held in Beaumont at the Holiday Inn Plaza last week.

The conference offered a choice of classes over the three day event in categories covering public speaking, knowing your customer, how to use new technology and social media to positively impact your business and a variety of other topics beneficial for success in today’s economy.

Evaluation forms were passed out after each class to help organizers plan for next year’s event.

Cost for the event was $25 per day which not only included all the seminars, but also lunch.

Wednesday, area chambers recognized their choices for “Small Business of the Year” during an awards banquet. Each was presented with a trophy and framed certificate.

Orange County’s KOGT was recognized by the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce and Sabine Federal Credit Union by the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce.

David Self of David Self Ford served on a panel with representatives from other Golden Triangle businesses that have “made it” on Thursday for the luncheon program. Other businesses represented on the panel were M&D Supply, Howell’s Furniture and JK Chevrolet.

They shared methods employed to continue success when the economy downturned over the last few years. Howell’s reported their business dropped 40% virtually overnight.

All managed to reduce their workforce through attrition, without layoffs. Other methods included keeping tighter controls on inventory and using the internet to promote their business. All recognize social media as an important aspect to successful business in this technological age.

M&D Supply also leased space to other businesses within their store, but they say the real key is free popcorn to customers while they shop.

M&D was recognized as Beaumont’s Small Business of the Year.

Business Development Week was hosted by the Southeast Texas Economic Development Foundation. Regional partners included Orange County Economic Development Corp., Bridge City Chamber of Commerce, Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce, Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce, Vidor Chamber of Commerce, Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce, Nederland Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Development Centers of Lamar University and Lamar State College-Port Arthur and Texas Workforce.

Some of the sponsors for the event included: Gulf Credit Union, LIT, Capital One, Cornerstone Media, Mobiloil Federal Credit Union, JK Chevrolet, Holiday Inn, OCI Beaumont, Cumulus Broadcasting and MCT Credit Union.


About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.