MIAMI, March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The Boston Beer Company today announced that its Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program will host its first annual speed coaching event in South Florida in partnership with micro-lender Accion. With a focus on small businesses related to food, beverage, craft brewing, and hospitality, the program uniquely combines financing with hands-on coaching and mentoring to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams of successful business ownership.
Since the program launched in 2008, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, in partnership with Accion, has provided $1.9 million in micro-financing to more than 220 businesses nationwide, coached over 3,000 small business owners, and created or saved nearly 1,400 jobs. Food, beverage, and hospitality small business owners, including craft brewers, can apply for loans ranging from $500 to $25,000 to be used for a variety of business purposes including expansion, equipment, and marketing. All loan payments are then recycled back into the fund to be used again.
“What’s important to understand is that supporting small business is about much more than just slipping a check under the door,” commented Jim Koch, Brewer and Founder of Samuel Adams beer. “It’s critical that funding go hand-in-hand with actionable mentoring and coaching to help small businesses succeed after they receive a loan, which is why we’re expanding our speed coaching into South Florida.”
The speed coaching event will take place on Monday, March 18th from 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at the La Jolla Ballroom (301 Alcazar Avenue, Coral Gables), and coaches will include Samuel Adams employees and local business experts. Business owners attending the event will have the opportunity to participate in up to six high-impact personalized 20-minute sessions intended to address their specific problems and concerns. For example, a business owner with social media questions might meet with a marketing and e-commerce expert who can provide specific ideas and tools to help attract and retain potential customers digitally.
Small business owners can sign up for the Miami speed coaching event at http://samadamsbtadmiami.eventbrite.com/#.
A Shaky Recovery and Slow Employment Growth
While South Florida‘s economy saw some improvement in 2012, local media reports have indicated that the region has at least another year before it will experience a healthy recovery. Additionally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment rates are above the national average in key areas of the state including Miami-Dade County, which recently experienced four consecutive months of new unemployment claims.
“There’s no question that small business is the engine behind economic recovery,” said Koch. “Our goal is to work with the true small businesses that are often viewed as ‘too risky’ by traditional banks – yet at the forefront of job creation and economic growth within their local communities – and where relatively modest loans and one-one-one coaching can have a meaningful impact.”
Koch added that he understands the challenges these small business owners are facing because he has been there. “From being turned down by banks 29 years ago when I was just starting Samuel Adams, to figuring out how to distribute my beer, I know firsthand what these small business owners are going through, and I sincerely believe that our program can help them overcome many of their obstacles so they can be successful and grow,” he said.
South Florida Success Stories
Since expanding into South Florida in 2012, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream has provided loans to seven small businesses through Accion and hopes to add many more by the end of the year. Highlights of some of the businesses that the program has worked with and supported include:
- Kip’s Mix – Miami native Kipri Johnson is one busy woman. Not only has she been working full-time as a paralegal as well as mentoring young female entrepreneurs, but she’s also been running her baked goods business, Kip’s Mix (www.kipsmix.com), for more than three years. As her devoted clientele salivated for more cookies, cakes and pies, Johnson turned to Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream for help. Kip’s Mix received a loan to purchase new baking tools as well as an airbrush tool kit for decorating cakes, and, like its breads, the business (including the number of employees) continues to rise.
- Bravo! Gourmet Sandwich – Last year, Dennis Quiroz‘s Peruvian sandwich business Bravo! Gourmet Sandwich (at www.bravogsandwich.com) needed a boost. The shop, a Ft. Lauderdale favorite, had been operating for more than three years, but Quiroz sought extra assistance to acquire a wine license and make improvements around the restaurant. He turned to Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream for a loan to help Bravo!, and, just as importantly, build his credit. Quiroz hopes to hire more employees and expand the shop over time—advancements that will not only help his business, but also the South Florida community.
- Hitching Post BBQ – Jonathan Ajoy reached out to Accion where he learned about the Samuel Adams’ Brewing the American Dream program last year after being turned down by traditional lenders. Ajoy had been in the business of making great ribs at his restaurant, Hitching Post BBQ, for more than six years, but needed capital to make other aspects of his restaurant match the caliber of his barbeque. Ajoy was approved for a loan which enabled him to make necessary renovations, purchase new kitchen equipment, and launch a marketing campaign. Today, Hitching Post BBQ employs more than 10 people who serve hungry patrons and Hialeah-area businesses.
“All of these entrepreneurs had viable plans but due to issues related to credit or because they were in business less than two years it was difficult to access capital from traditional lending sources,” said Paul Quintero, CEO of Accion East and Online. “Samuel Adams partnered with Accion because of our deep history in understanding the challenges and serving the needs of entrepreneurs in Florida and across the country. Together, we believe our support will successively help build their businesses to achieve their American Dream.”
For more information about the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program, please visit http://btad.samueladams.com.
About The Boston Beer Company
The Boston Beer Company began in 1984 with a generations-old family recipe that Founder and Brewer Jim Koch uncovered in his father’s attic. Inspired and unafraid to challenge conventional thinking about beer, Jim brought the recipe to life in his kitchen. Pleased with the results of his work, Jim decided to sample his beer with bars in Boston in the hopes that drinkers would appreciate the complex, full-flavored beer he brewed fresh in America. That beer was aptly named Samuel Adams Boston Lager®, in recognition of one of our nation’s great founding fathers, a man of independent mind and spirit. Little did Jim know at the time, Samuel Adams Boston Lager soon became a catalyst of the American craft beer revolution.
Today, The Boston Beer Company brews more than 50 styles of beer. It relentlessly pursues the development of new styles and the perfection of classic beers by searching the world for the finest ingredients. Using the traditional four vessel brewing process, the Company often takes extra steps like dry-hopping, barrel-aging and a secondary fermentation known as krausening. The Company has also pioneered another revolution, the ‘extreme beer’ movement, where it seeks to challenge drinker’s perceptions of what beer can be. The Boston Beer Company has been committed to elevating the image of American craft beer by entering festivals and competitions around the globe, and in the past five years has won more awards in international beer competitions than any other brewery in the world. As an independent company, brewing quality beer remains its single focus. Although Samuel Adams® beer is America’s largest-selling craft beer, it accounts for only one percent of the U.S. beer market. The Boston Beer Company will continue its independently-minded quest to brew great beer and to advocate for the growth of craft beer across America. For more information, please visit www.samueladams.com.
About Accion in the U.S.
In seeking a partner for Samuel Adams’ Brewing the American Dream, The Boston Beer Company turned to Accion to facilitate lending to hardworking business owners seeking to grow. As the largest and only nationwide micro- and small business lending network in the United States, Accion connects small business owners with the accessible financing and advice it takes to create or grow healthy businesses. Accion East and Online lends in Miami and offers business loans between $500 and $50,000 along with training, networking and other support services to hardworking entrepreneurs. In the last 20 years, Accion East and Online has disbursed over 21,000 loans.
Since 1991, the five members of Accion’s U.S. Network have collectively made over 44,000 loans, totaling over $320 million. Additionally, over 400,000 business owners across the nation have turned to Accion for financial and business advice via workshops, online tools, and one-on-one consultations. Globally, Accion (www.accion.org) is a pioneer in microfinance, reaching millions of individuals through its international network of partners. For more information on Accion in Miami, please visit www.accioneast.org or call 646-833-4552.
SOURCE Boston Beer Company