Washington, D.C.--The U.S. Chamber of Commerce awarded The Urban Grape in Boston as the 2021 winner of the $25,000 prize for its annual Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award, presented by Spectrum Reach.
The Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award recognizes a small business that embodies the spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship, and individual initiative. The winner exemplifies success and leadership across business growth performance, innovative business strategies, community engagement, as well as customer and employee relations.
“Small business owners have faced challenge after challenge, yet the generosity, ingenuity, and determination of this year’s Dream Big finalists and winners prove that small businesses are, and will continue to be, the backbone of our economy and the fabric of our communities,” said Tom Sullivan, U.S. Chamber of Commerce vice president of small business policy.
“Whether building out a fleet of self-driving trucks, helping parents find affordable and quality childcare services, or curating a gift shop fit for the community, this year’s Dream Big Award winners represent the best of American small business. Congratulations to The Urban Grape, and all of this year’s winners and finalists.”
The Urban Grape was one of 27 finalists selected by a panel of judges for the eight Business Achievement Awards and the Small Business of the Year Award.
The Urban Grape impressed with its distinction of being the only store in the world that sells wine by the body, rather than the varietal or region—a philosophy that creates a sense of welcoming and ease not often found while shopping for wine. The Urban Grape also offers wine education through free public tastings, online wine classes, and in-depth evenings with winemakers from around the world.
Amid racial unrest and protests in 2020, The Urban Grape was broken into and looted, but turned the hardship into an opportunity to support the community by starting the Urban Grape Wine Studies Award for Students of Color at Boston University to support those in the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community interested in careers in the wine industry.
New this year, the LGBTQ-owned Business Achievement Award recognizes a LGBTQ-owned small business that represents the significant contributions made by LGBTQ-owned businesses. The award went to Hideaway Café in Winchester, Virginia, a central community gathering place for everyone regardless of disabilities, beliefs, or differences.
The full list of Business Achievement Award winners are:
- Emerging Business Achievement Award: Imperium Data Networks – Tampa, FL
- Green/Sustainable Business Achievement Award: Recyclops – Sandy, UT
- Minority-Owned Business Achievement Award: TOOTRiS – San Diego, CA
- Veteran-Owned Business Achievement Award: Building Momentum – Alexandria, VA
- Woman-Owned Business Achievement Award: Made in Corpus Christi – Corpus Christi, TX
- LGBTQ-Owned Business Achievement Award: Hideaway Cafe – Winchester, VA
- Young Entrepreneur Achievement Award: Embark Trucks – San Francisco, CA
- Community Support and Leadership Award: Medium Rare – Bethesda, MD; Washington, DC; Arlington, VA
“As the presenting sponsor of the 2021 Small Business of the Year Award, Spectrum Reach is proud to join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in honoring The Urban Grape for their determination to create better opportunities for their community, as well as the achievements of all the winners,” said Michael Guth, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Spectrum Reach. “It’s truly been a challenging year, but it also has been inspiring to see business owners, entrepreneurs, professional organizations, and chambers of commerce come together to support and rebuild our communities.”
Award winners were announced at the Dream Big Awards Ceremony as part of the 2021 virtual event The Big Week for Small Business, which took place October 20-21, 2021.