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 18 th 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."