LOS ANGELES – The Boston Beer Company today announced that its Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream┬« program is offering loans to small businesses in the Los Angeles area and will also offer its first speed coaching event for the region’s small business community. With a focus on helping small food, beverage, craft brewing and hospitality business owners, Brewing the American Dream provides loans, coaching, mentoring, and educational resources to business owners who find it difficult to access the funds and guidance needed to start, sustain or grow their businesses.
While in the past only a handful of regions had access to the program, the 2012 national expansion of Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, which was developed in partnership with non-profit micro-lender Accion, recently made available for the first time at least $1 million in new loans to recipients across the country. Additionally, in select cities such as Los Angeles it will also provide access to the initiative’s high-impact one-on-one coaching activities, the first of which will be held on October 16 at the Grace E. Simons Lodge.
Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream has already provided close to $1.5 million of micro-financing to more than 150 businesses nationwide, and created or saved nearly 1,000 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 including expansion, equipment, and marketing, with all loan payments recycled back into the fund.
LA Supports Small Business Growth
“Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “Our office is proud to support Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, in partnership with Accion and the VEDC, in their efforts to provide key assistance and networking to ensure the continued growth and success of small businesses.”
According to Jim Koch , brewer and founder of Samuel Adams, the goal of the program is to work with the true small businesses in Los Angeles 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.
“A large part of what differentiates our effort is our focus on offering in-depth expertise and advice in combination with small loans. We understand the challenges because we’ve been there; I’ve been there. From being turned down by banks 28 years ago when I was just starting out and desperately needed funding, to figuring out how to distribute my product, I know firsthand what these small business owners are going through, and sincerely believe that Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream can help them overcome many of their obstacles so they can be successful and grow.”
Los Angeles’ First BTAD Loan Recipients & Speed Coaching Event
As part of the Los Angeles expansion, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream also announced the region’s first loan recipients through VEDC, all of whom are small businesses that were unable to secure financing through traditional lenders. Initial LA recipients include:
- PEDDLER’S CREAMERY — Edward Belden has innovatively combined his passion for cycling with a passion for ice cream. Using an environmentally friendly bicycle churning process, he’s created Peddler’s Creamery, a unique organic dairy and vegan ice cream shop located in downtown Los Angeles. Despite studying ice cream production and working in the industry, Edward was unable to get an approval for a loan from a traditional lender due to his start-up status. Consequently, he turned to Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream and expects to hire eight employees when Peddler’s Creamery opens its doors within the next month.
- LORD WINDSOR ROASTER’S – Tired of their corporate jobs and looking for work that they’d be passionate about, Lindsay and Wade Windsor decided to turn their passion for coffee into a business. But as with many small start-ups, securing financing was challenging. “It was a joke to try and get a traditional bank loan,” says Lindsay. Then they learned about VEDC and the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program. They opened up their coffee shop six months ago, and in addition to focusing on the quality and freshness of their ingredients, they’re keeping the shop WI-FI free so customers will interact with each other at the coffee bar. They plan to use their new loan to hire more employees for the holiday season.
The owners of each business will also have the opportunity to participate in the upcoming speed coaching seminar sponsored by Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream. 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 in a series of one-on-one sessions addressing specific problems and issues facing the participating small business owners. For example, an entrepreneur 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.
“Through our partner, the VEDC, Accion supports hundreds of entrepreneurs in the Los Angeles area,” commented Gina Harman , Accion U.S. Network CEO. “Our work with the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program has allowed us to expand and enhance our role in supporting up-and-coming LA businesses by not only providing much needed financing but also 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/.
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.
VEDC is the largest non-profit small business lender in metro Los Angeles and offers direct micro and small business loans as well as SBA 7(a) and SBA 504 loans. VEDC has a $20 million loan portfolio and almost $40 million under management and originates loans totaling more than $35 million annually to businesses locally and statewide. With six locations throughout the Los Angeles area and San Francisco, VEDC has supported the small business owner for 36 years with the goal of creating and sustaining jobs and businesses in low to moderate income communities by providing high-quality small business services. For more information visit www.vedc.org.