Washington County Council members recognized small business members from Boonsboro to Williamsport on Tuesday with one of the honorees contributing to the business community for more than half a century.
Avery Wingert founded four NAPA Auto Parts shops in Washington County more than five decades ago.
Even though Wingert has since moved on, his employees said the businesses are still booming because of Wingert’s business model.
“Well, first you have to love what you’re doing. You have to love to work and appreciate the people who work for you,” Wingert said.
When he sold Potomac Auto Parts, his Hancock location, he passed the torch on to Lynn Douglas, an employee for almost 50 years.
“It’s nice to have someone that you can emulate and realize they’re putting out just more than selling something, that you’re selling your honesty and integrity,” Douglas said.
According to the Small Business Association, more than half of Americans work for a small business.
Two out of three new jobs that are created in the U.S. are made out of a small business.
However, the industry does not come without its hardships.
Many of the small business owners that were recognized on Tuesday said they typically put in a 60 hour work week, while also finding time to give back to the community and keep money local.
“Baseball teams, softball teams, church groups, we let them have car washes in front of the store and hold fundraisers whenever we can to help them out,” Douglas said.
Eight small businesses from Boonsboro to Williamsport were recognized for their contributions to the community.
From the city of Hagerstown, James and Jess’ House of Goods were honored for their selection of vintage goods, as well as Kendall Taylor Home for their antique furniture.
In Funkstown, Aladdin Awards was recognized for their personalized engraving and custom award services of more than 40 years.
Sharpsburg’s B&B Automotive LLC was noticed for going above and beyond to help the community by supporting local non-profits, such as the Sharpsburg Little League and the Come All Who Are Thirsty Veterans group.
From Smithsburg, the Dixie Diner was honored for its long-time restaurant and service to the community by helping children with illnesses and Christmas for Families in Need.
In Williamsport, Canal View Candle & Barrel Co. was noticed for its green goods by using renewable, repurposed and recyclable products in its candles.
From Boonsboro, Josie’s on Main was recognized for its eclectic blend of vintage and new home and décor accessories.
Lastly, Hancock’s Potomac Auto Parts was honored for supplying the community with tools, equipment and community service for more than half a century.
Wingert also received a special recognition for contributing to the community for decades.
Employees said part of the reason he has had such success is because of his humility.
“I want to say congratulations to all my employees because it was them who did the job, not me,” Wingert said.
As part of Small Business Week, community members are encouraged to shop and buy local.