The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has named The Urban Grape of Boston as the 2021 winner of the $25,000 prize for its annual Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award.
The award recognizes a small business that embodies the spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship and individual initiative. The Urban Grape, a pioneering business that sells wine by the body rather than the variety or region, is also a Top 100 Retailer.
“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,” says 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,” Sullivan adds. “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.
Amid racial unrest and protests in 2020, The Urban Grape was broken into and looted. But the business 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.
The Urban Grape also offers wine education through free public tastings, online wine classes, and in-depth evenings with winemakers from around the world.
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.
The Small Business of the Year award is presented by Spectrum Reach.