The Boston Beer Company 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."