GRASONVILLE — The Maryland Department of Commerce and the Queen Anne’s County Chamber of Commerce partnered to honor four businesses Thursday, June 20, all reaching opening date milestones.

The honorees were Queenstown Bank for 120 years in business, Fishergate Graphics for 50 years in business, J.C. Warner for 40 years in business and Paquin Design/Build for 15 years in business.

“We’re very proud of all of our businesses, but when we can celebrate a milestone for them, it is a great opportunity,” said Linda Friday, president of the Queen Anne’s County Chamber of Commerce. “Recognizing them is reinforcement that the state cares about business. Good businesses bringing out our young adults, and getting them prepared to work in our business community is a good way of sustaining this type of (achievement).”

Although the four companies run the gamut of industries on the Eastern Shore, Friday said prospective entrepreneurs would be wise to look into the resources offered by the chamber.

Among them, Friday said, would be working with an advocate for business owners by being a sounding board for growth plans and referral services for associated business owners or to funds offering business capital. Additionally, partnerships with Chesapeake College open the door to a pool of prospective interns or employees in which they can invest.

“It’s really an honor to be part of a company that has been around 120 years, and you don’t see it that much anymore,” said Kevin Cashen, president and CEO of Queenstown Bank. “This bank has been an important part of the community for a long time, and that’s a special position to be in. This community values the local market, and the county supports its local institutions.”

Susan Vianna, president of Fishergate Graphics in Chester, echoed Cashen’s sentiments, saying sustaining a company’s success is a unique challenge.

“The business was started by my father in 1969, and I’ve been in the business since 1986,” Vianna said. “It’s an honor that I’ve been able to keep the business going for 50 years, and we’re proud that we’ve been able to provide creative graphic design for our clients. We’re happy we moved the business to Queen Anne’s County and help other businesses and nonprofits here, as well.”

Also a family-owned business, J.C. Warner in Queenstown has specialized in HVAC installation and repair.

Like Vianna, Zeke Warner came to own J.C. Warner after his father opened the business. After seven years at the helm, customers have built a relationship with the second generation of Warner ownership as they did with the first.

“The biggest thing for me was growing up in front of the customers,” Warner said. “My dad is still around and comes in occasionally, and it’s great to see how proud he is. This is all I’ve ever known, and I carried on doing the same things he did.”

Like the other businesses honored, Paquin Design/Build has seen its share of growth with the recent opening of Paquin Interiors. The new showroom includes kitchen and bath fixtures, flooring and lighting options.

“It’s a blessing to be open for this many years, and we enjoy what we do,” said Brent Paquin, owner and president of Paquin Design/Build in Grasonville. “There’s challenges, but it’s all worth it when you have a beautiful product and a happy client. This county is great to us, and we’ve been involved with the chamber for some time, and I grew up on Kent Island.”

Those interested in the joining the Queen Anne’s County Chamber of Commerce can call 410-643-8530 or visit www.qaccham ber.com.

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