BOSTON, April 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — To continue the successful momentum of its small business microlending and business mentoring efforts, The Boston Beer Company today 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.
“Perfecting the Pitch”
To extend the important mentoring and coaching activities that the program has provided since 2008 to help small businesses succeed after receiving a loan, in 2013 Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream will introduce the “Pitch Room.” Focused on giving small business owners the opportunity to learn the art of “perfecting their pitch,” participants will also get a chance to present to – and potentially have their products sold by – national retailers and restaurants.
Incorporated into a select number of the program’s popular speed coaching events, small business owners will work with – and be critiqued by – a panel of industry retail buyers and product decision makers. 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.
“I’ve had first-hand experience with trying to sell a product that no one’s ever heard of, and am reminded constantly how hard it is for the smallest of businesses to really break through with potential customers,” said Koch. “Our goal – and what really differentiates the program – is to remove some of these barriers by combining funding with coaching and mentoring so small business owners have a better chance of success, and just as importantly, can continue to drive employment and economic growth in their communities.”
Koch noted that the program’s speedcoaching has had a significant impact on numerous businesses including:
- Lulu’s Sweet Shoppe—Owner Sandy Russo received coaching from a member of The Boston Beer Company’s communications team, who helped develop an announcement for her second location that drove more than 3,000 people to her new space on opening day.
- Delectable Desires—After working with a Boston Beer Company finance expert, owner Carlene O’Garro was able to competitively price her vegan non-dairy cheese cake to secure distribution in Whole Foods.
- Roc Brewing Co.—Craft Brewers Chris Spinelli and Jon Mervine received advice from Jim Koch, who counseled them on expanding and growing their craft brewing business. They’ll soon celebrate the first anniversary of their brew house.
More Speed Coaching & Mentoring
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/.
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.
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 nationwide micro- and small business lending network in the United States, we connect small business owners with the accessible financing and advice it takes to create or grow healthy businesses. Since 1991, the five members of the Accion U.S. Network have collectively made over 45,000 loans, totaling over $350 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 visit us.accion.org.
SOURCE Boston Beer Company