Sam Adams Buys a Round for Small Beer, Food Businesses
"When I started Sam Adams what would have been really helpful to me that I couldn't get
The program will also extend its popular speed coaching activities in cities throughout the country. This year the program is hosting events in 10 locations: Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC - and, for the first time, Miami and San Francisco.
At the speed-coaching events, business owners are paired with Sam Adams employees, as well as local business experts who provide advice in their areas of expertise. Each attendee has the opportunity to participate in a series of high-impact, one-on-one 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 Boston Beer's packaging or graphic design experts who can provide specific ideas on color, style and size to help capture the attention of potential consumers. Brewing The American Dream was launched in 2008 and strongly supported by Boston Beer Co. founder Jim Koch. It was originally formed to help local New England small businesses (and yes, even small craft breweries) get the financing and resources they need. The program has since expanded nationally. Accion has doled out $1.9 million in microloans through the program to 225 small businesses across the U.S., with the average loan at about $8,000. The initiative has also provided coaching to more than 3,000 business owners and created or saved nearly 1,400 jobs, Boston Beer says. While there is no annual revenue minimum for applicants, established companies are preferable. "What we want them to do with the loan is use it to grow their business and create jobs, profit so they can pay the loan back and then we can recycle that loan to another small business that can do the same thing," Koch says. "We have had business where we've made two or even three loans." At a corporate level, Koch says connecting with food and beverage entrepreneurs keeps Sam Adams connected to its entrepreneurial roots - an advantage when competing with the likes of beer conglomerates like Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) and Molson Coors (TAP - Get Report). "For Boston Beer, it keeps our people in contact with our own entrepreneurial roots. In our business,
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