Success Stories

Switchback owners named VT Small Business Persons of the Year

MONTPELIER, Vt. – The Small Business Administration announced the 2014 Vermont small business award winners Thursday.

The highest honor, the Vermont Small Business Persons of the Year, is awarded to Bill Cherry and Jeff Neiblum, Switchback Brewery Co., for growing their brewery, expanding the brand, increasing sales, employee growth and contributing to their local community.

“The SBA has had a long relationship with Switchback,” said Darcy Carter, SBA Vermont District Office Director. “He was able to achieve his dream of opening a brewery with an SBA loan and guidance from his friend Jeff. Over the next 12 years, Switchback obtained several more SBA loans to expand the brewery company, produce more ale and hire more employees.”

Switchback is a brewery based in Burlington, Vt. Its flagship beer is an unfiltered ale sold throughout the state and distributed in areas of New Hampshire and Maine as well.

“Switchback is very deserving of this award,” said... Read More

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Seth Goodall, Small Business Administration New England Administrator, addresses Matchmaker attendees March 6 at the Sheraton Hotel in Burlington, Vt.  Matchmaker events provide small businesses the opportunity to meet with state and federal procurement representatives in a series of 10-minute one-on-one appointments to see if they can fulfill certain contracting needs. (Photo by Danny Monahan)

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Seth Goodall, Small Business Administration New England Administrator, spoke to students during Love an Entrepreneur Day Feb. 20 at the University of Vermont’s Davis Center.  Love an Entrepreneur Day is a UVM initiative that serves as an opportunity for students and entrepreneurs to learn the basics skills needed to start a business. (Photo by Danny Monahan) 

All’s Chill in Montpelier

By Danny Monahan
Small Business Administration Vermont District Office Public Information Officer

Three children walk into a gelato shop and begin trying the different flavors of the day. Once they decide on a flavor, they leave laughing while licking their cones.

“That’s the best part,” said Theo Kennedy. “Seeing the smiles on people’s faces while enjoying our gelato.”

A little more than a year ago, Theo and his wife Nora decided to open Chill, a family business, on State Street in Montpelier.

“Opening a family business was at the core of Chill,” said Theo Kennedy. “When we started this business we wanted to be together more, not less.”

The entire family works there. The children, Patrick, Aine and Sasha each spend time after school and on weekends behind the counter scooping, making gelato or hanging out.

“We love having our family here with us, it doesn’t even feel like we are working at times,” said Theo Kennedy.

The... Read More