2011 Growth Aided by Smart Government Regulations

Dec 5, 2011 12:00 PM ET

Originally on Washington Post with Bloomberg Business by Jennifer V. Orgolini

At a time when many businesses are downsizing or worse, New Belgium Brewing, which opened in 1991 and has become the third largest craft brewery in the United States, is profitable and growing. While our customers have traditionally enjoyed our beer west of the Mississippi, we grew 7 percent this year by expanding our sales to the District, Maryland and Virginia. People may be tightening their belts, but they still want affordable luxuries, including a six-pack of their favorite beer.

We have learned that people want to support a business that sells a well-made product and treats co-workers and customers with respect. Visitors to the brewery often remark on the positive energy throughout the organization. That’s a result of shared ownership and decision-making with our 425 co-workers. We attract passionate and talented people because we share the profits, pay 100 percent of health insurance premiums and match 401(k) contributions. We’re proof that a business can be profitable while treating co-workers with respect.

Customers and co-workers also support us because of our charitable giving and environmental stewardship. For every $1 of beer sold — $700,000 granted in 2011 and $4 million over our 20-year history — we donate to causes like The League of American Bicyclists, which is working to create a bicycle-friendly America. Furthermore, we were the first brewery to commit to wind energy and work to turn our by-products back into fuel.

In addition to our customers’ and co-workers’ support, our business benefits from national and state regulations. We welcome a fair playing field that raises the bar for all. It’s one of the reasons we joined the American Sustainable Business Council, a network of business organizations advocating for public policies that address the new realities of the 21st century global economy.

Continue reading the orignal article on Washington Post and Bloomberg Business.