Success Stories

By Danny Monahan, SBA Vermont Public Information Officer

Twelve years ago a fledgling brewery in Burlington, Vt. consisted only of a lone brewmaster crafting an unfiltered ale for a few select bars in the area.  Today, Switchback Brewery Co. is one the most heralded breweries in Vermont selling its beer throughout the Northeast to restaurants, resorts and stores.

The brewery’s owners, Bill Cherry and Jeff Neiblum, are awarded the Vermont Small Business Person of the Year, for growing their brewery, expanding the brand and increasing sales.

Cherry and Neiblum, who have been friends since college, always talked about opening a brewery. After all, Cherry had experience working for both a microbrewery and large American brewing company, and Neiblum had experience running his own company.

In 2000, the job that brought Cherry to Vermont ceased production, so he began developing a business plan. By 2002 Switchback was up and running.

 “What started as a... Read More

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)