To continue the successful momentum of its small business microlending and business mentoring efforts, The Boston Beer Company announced the expansion of its Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program. Key objectives in 2013 include providing an additional $1 million in microloans to approximately 100 new small businesses owners, inviting Samuel Adams drinkers to participate in the program, and increasing Brewing the American Dream’s coaching and mentoring activities for small businesses throughout the country.
First launched in June, 2008 and expanded nationally in 2012, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, in partnership with non-profit microlender Accion, has already provided $2 million in loans to 230 small businesses nationwide, coached more than 3,000 small business owners, and created or saved nearly 1,400 jobs. Food, beverage, and hospitality small business owners, as well as craft brewers can apply for loans ranging from $500 to $25,000 to be used for a variety of business purposes, with all loan payments recycled back into the fund.
As part of the program’s 2013 expansion, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream is also launching “Raise a Pint, Brew a Dream,” a new initiative that gives Samuel Adams drinkers the opportunity to participate in supporting small businesses. From April 15 to May 31, for every Samuel Adams Boston Lager® draft sold at participating retail locations nationwide, The Boston Beer Company will donate five cents to the Brewing the American Dream microloan fund for distribution to food and beverage business owners struggling to access traditional financing.
“Since we started Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, our drinkers have been asking for a way to get involved,” said Jim Koch, brewer and founder of Samuel Adams. “Our ‘Raise a Pint, Brew a Dream’ program will not only give them the opportunity to help support the small businesses that we’re working with, but also learn more about the obstacles faced by small business owners pursuing their ‘American Dream.'” Koch noted that in restaurants and bars across the country, Samuel Adams drinkers will be able to scan QR codes on posters and signs to access more information and personal stories about the various small businesses involved in the program.
The small business owners who make the best “pitch” will move on to compete at a national competition, where they’ll have the chance to win a $10,000 business grant and a series of personalized coaching and mentoring sessions with employees from The Boston Beer Company, including Jim Koch.
In 2013, Brewing the American Dream will also extend its high demand speed coaching activities in cities throughout the country. This year the program hosts events in 10 locations including Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC – and, for the first time, Miami and San Francisco.
During the events, small business owners are paired with Samuel Adams employees and local business experts who provide real-world advice in their areas of expertise. Each attendee has the opportunity to participate in a series of high-impact, personalized 20-minute coaching sessions intended to address their specific problems and concerns. For example, a business owner with a packaging question might meet with one of The Boston Beer Company’s packaging or graphic design experts who can provide specific ideas on color, style and size to help capture the attention of potential consumers.
“It’s critical to have programs like Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream that bring together two vital resources for business success — financing and real-world knowledge,” said Gina Harman, president and CEO of Accion, The U.S. Network. “I’m confident the program will continue to have lasting impact on small business growth across the U.S.”
For more information about the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program, please visit http://btad.samueladams.com/.