The Switchback crew here, freshly back from the Vermont Employee Ownership Center Conference! To recap, on February 6th 2017, Switchback officially became the first 100% employee-owned brewery in Vermont via an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). Since then, there has been a lot of talk within the brewery about what this truly means for both us, and Vermont, our gorgeous state we call home. The conference inspired us to share a few of many reasons why employee-owned companies rule and why you can feel good about supporting them.
In the state of Vermont, there are 35 employee-owned businesses (one of the highest per capita in the U.S.) and this is definitely something to celebrate! Here, employee-owned is synonymous with Vermont-owned, meaning now that our brewery is employee-owned, it will be locally-owned and operated forever. The same can be applied to any state in which employee-owned businesses are supported. Employee-owned companies keep profits in their state, which keeps the money flowing throughout the local economy. This can also help protect and stabilize the local economy from the national economy’s unpredictable ups and downs. Whatever state you’re in, supporting employee-owned businesses affects you and the local community.
We have always had pride in our products here at Switchback, but since going employee-owned, it has been brought to a whole new level. And this is not specific to us. In fact, this tends to be the norm at employee-owned businesses. Employee-owners understand that there is a certain level of participation and influence that we may not have had before. We know that every barrel of beer that is produced is a direct reflection on us. Employee-owners also understand that there is a certain level of face-to-face accountability within our communities (especially in a small city like Burlington!). All of this pushes us to strive to ensure nothing leaves this brewery that we don’t fully stand behind. When you buy a Switchback brew, or a bag of King Arthur Flour or new tools from Gardner's Supply, or anything from any employee-owned business, you’ll know that it will be a consistent and quality product that each and every employee-owner stands behind.
Spread the word and #shopESOP.