WASHINGTON - The Boston Beer Company today announced that its Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program is providing loans to small businesses in the Washington, D.C. area, and will also offer its first speed coaching event for the region’s small business community.
With a focus on food, beverage, craft brewing and hospitality businesses, Brewing the American Dream provides loans to small business owners who find it difficult to access financing through traditional methods, as well as coaching, mentoring, and educational resources to help start, sustain, or grow their businesses.
While Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream began as regional program, in 2012 the initiative expanded nationally and is now offering funding to small business owners across the country. Additionally, in select cities such as Washington, D.C. it is also providing access to the initiative’s high-impact one-on-one coaching activities, the first of which will be held on November 14 at the Josephine Butler Parks Center (http://samueladamsbtaddc.eventbrite.com/#).
Working with non-profit micro-lender Accion and its various partners — including Washington D.C.’s Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) — Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream has already provided $1.7 million of micro-financing to more than 200 businesses nationwide, and created or saved nearly 1,300 jobs. Food, beverage, craft brewing and hospitality small business owners can apply for loans ranging from $500 to $25,000 to be used for a variety of business purposes such a expansion, equipment, and marketing with all loan payments recycled back into the fund so that they can be repurposed into new loans.
Supporting Small Business Growth
According to Jim Koch, brewer and founder of Samuel Adams, the goal of the program is to work with the true small businesses in Washington, D.C. that are often viewed as too risky by traditional banks — but who are at the forefront of job creation and growth within their local communities — and where relatively modest loans and one-one-one coaching can have a meaningful impact.
“There’s a very serious funding gap in our economy,” Koch said. “Even organizations whose mission is to support the small business community often don’t want to lend less than $50,000 because at that level, qualified applicants are difficult to come by.”
Koch added that when he started Sam Adams 28 years ago, not only was he turned down by banks, but there were a lot of aspects to running a small business that he wasn’t aware of. “I didn’t know many of the practical things that often cause small businesses to fail if they aren’t done right. That’s why a large part of Brewing the American Dream is focused on offering in-depth expertise and advice versus just slipping a check under the door.”
Washington D.C’s First Brewing the American Dream Loan Recipients & Speed Coaching Event
As part of the Washington, D.C. expansion, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream also announced the region’s first loan recipients.
- MINDY’S CATERING — Since purchasing Mindy’s Catering in 2000, Erin White and Fredy Robleshave continued to operate as a family-owned, full-service catering business serving Washington, D.C. As part of a recent effort to improve their business, they decided that they needed to secure funding in order to buy their own event equipment. Through the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program and their existing relationship with LEDC, they received a loan that will help them purchase supplies — saving them approximately $25,000 per year in rental costs — and invest in additional promotional materials to market and grow their corporate catering business.
- FISSEHA FOOD TRUCK — Dawit Fisseha was a food truck specialist before food trucks became “hip.” Born in Africa, Dawit has been providing customers with comfort food for over 22 years in theDistrict of Columbia at K St. and Connecticut Ave. near the Farragut North Metro Station. While the business has been doing well, to stay competitive with the growing breakfast and lunch options in the area, she needed to upgrade her truck. Working with the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program and LEDC, Dawit secured a loan to help purchase a new vehicle that will not only allow her to significantly expand her menu and attract more customers, but improve working conditions for her and her employees.
- MILAGRITO MARKET AND BAKERY — A family-run business, Milagrito Market & Bakery is located in Fredericksburg, Virginia and led by Miguel Martinez, a native of Central America with more than 12 years of experience as a professional baker. While the business has been successful, Miguel believes there’s an opportunity for it to grow and expand. Consequently, he’s worked with LEDC and secured a loan from the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dreamprogram that will allow him to create a small restaurant area with seven tables — along with catering services — and continue his professional studies via an American/International bakery training course in New York City to help him develop new products.
The owners of each business will also have the opportunity to participate in the upcoming Brewing the American Dream speed coaching event. The event is comprised of various Samuel Adams employees (i.e., from sales, graphic design, packaging-commerce , etc.), as well as local area experts who spend 20 minutes each in a series of one-on-one sessions addressing specific problems and issues facing the participating small business owners. For example, a business owner who has a question about pricing might meet with a finance expert who’ll provide specific ideas and tools to help competitively position the product with potential customers. LEDC small business lending officers will also be on hand to offer information to small businesses interested in learning more about financing options.
“We’re looking forward to working with our partner, the LEDC, to support food and beverage related businesses in D.C.,” commented Gina Harman, Accion U.S. Network CEO. “Our work with the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program continues to grow and expand, and we’re all very excited about providing this dynamic market with much needed financing along with real-world educational resources and coaching that’s so critical to small businesses’ success.”
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. After bringing the recipe to life in his kitchen, Jim brought it to bars in Boston with the belief that drinkers would appreciate a complex, full-flavored beer, brewed fresh in America. That beer was Samuel Adams Boston Lager┬«, and it helped catalyze what became known as the American craft beer revolution.
Today, the Company brews more than 50 styles of beer. The Company uses the traditional four vessel brewing process and often takes extra steps like dry-hopping and a secondary fermentation known as krausening. It passionately pursues the development of new styles and the perfection of its classic beers by constantly searching for the world’s finest ingredients. While resurrecting traditional brewing methods, the Company has earned a reputation as a pioneer in another revolution, the “extreme beer” movement, where it seeks to challenge drinkers’ perceptions of what beer can be. The Boston Beer Company strives to elevate the image of American craft beer by entering festivals and competitions the world over, and in the past five years it has won more awards in international beer competitions than any other brewery in the world. The Company remains independent, and brewing quality beer remains its single focus. While Samuel Adams is the country’s largest-selling craft beer, it accounts for just under one percent of the U.S. beer market. 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 company turned to Accion to facilitate lending to hardworking business owners seeking to grow. Since 1991, Accion has built the largest microfinance network in the U.S., comprised of five members, that have collectively provided loans and support to over 500,000 enterprising individuals. Accion provides affordable financing and support to everyday businesses, establishing a relationship with each customer and considers personal character alongside credit history in its lending process. Each Accion loan—which averages $7,500—fuels the creation and retention of more than two jobs, extending the organization’s impact beyond the borrower’s business to the community as a whole. To learn more about Accion’s work in the U.S. please visit us.accion.org.
The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) equips Latinos and other D.C.-area residents with the skills and financial tools to create a better future for their families and communities. Participants in our programs learn how to buy and stay in their homes, take control of decisions affecting their apartment buildings, and start or expand small businesses. The entire D.C. area is stronger when all families have the power to achieve financial independence and join with their neighbors to improve their quality of life. For more information, go to www.ledcmetro.org, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.