The Boston Beer Company announced that its Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program will host its second annual speed coaching event in New York City, in partnership with Accion. With a focus on helping small businesses related to food, beverage, craft brewing, and hospitality, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream has provided micro-financing to 200 businesses nationwide as well as coaching and/or mentoring to over 3,000 small business owners.
The speed coaching event will take place on Monday, December 3 rd from 6:30pm – 9:00pm at ING DIRECT Cafe (968 3rd Avenue between 57th & 58th). Coaches will include Samuel Adams founder and brewer, Jim Koch, as well as various Samuel Adams employees and local area experts. Business owners attending the event will have the opportunity to spend 20 minutes each in a series of high-impact one-on-one sessions that are intended to address their specific problems and issues. For example, a business owner who has a question about pricing might meet with a finance expert who will provide specific ideas and tools to help competitively position the product with potential customers.
"We have money to lend and hope to attract many more small business owners from this great food and beverage city into our program," commented Jim Koch. "We've been very pleased with the number of small business owners we've been able to help thus far throughout the five boroughs and are committed to continuing to work with the true small businesses in New York City that are often viewed as too risky by traditional lenders – yet are leading the way in terms of job creation and economic growth within their neighborhoods."
Koch added that he understands the challenges these small business owners are facing because he has been there. "From being turned down by banks 28 years ago when I was just starting Samuel Adams, to figuring out how to distribute my beer, I know firsthand what these small business owners are going through, and I sincerely believe that our program can help them overcome many of their obstacles so they can be successful and grow," he said. "What's key is to not just slip a check under the door but have the funding go hand-in-hand with actionable mentorship and coaching."
New York City Success Stories
Since expanding into NYC in 2011, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream has provided loans to 40 small businesses in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, and Manhattan. Highlights of some of the businesses that the program has worked with and supported include:
- Brooklyn Homebrew – While Brooklyn Homebrew, a home brewing supply store, had been open and operating, owner Danielle Cefaro needed additional financing to help her grow the business. After being turned down by traditional lenders because of a short credit history, she turned to Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream. According to Danielle, not only did the program allow her to invest in new equipment so she could carry more supplies, but she was also able to develop a strong credit record. "That credit record helped us secure a larger loan from a traditional lender so we could continue to grow," she said. "Without Brewing the American Dream we wouldn't have been able to start to expand, and we certainly wouldn't have been able to get the additional financing that we ultimately secured from Chase."
- The Chocolate Swirl – Lisa Braciligiano connected with Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream when her specialty dessert business was getting to the point where it needed more funding but she really didn't know where to go for it. While Lisa's business had been open/operating and it was starting to make a profit, she had used up her personal funds, and to continue to grow she needed additional financing. "Brewing the American Dream provided a loan that helped us to expand our business and allowed us to move the business from being part-time to full-time," she said. "Without it we wouldn't have been able to hire more employees, expand the use of the commercial kitchen we rent, or significantly increase our production."
The most recent program recipients include....
- Cheryl's Global Soul – Born in Jamaica, Cheryl Smith moved to New York and became a chef, while also launching her own catering company. Later, she went on to open Cheryl's Global Soul, a popular restaurant in the Prospect Heights section of Brooklyn. Specializing in comfort food made with fresh ingredients from local markets and spices from around the world, Cheryl's Global Soul also provides catering services. With the growing popularity of the restaurant, combined with increased traffic due to the opening of the new Barclay's Center (home to the NBA's Brooklyn Nets), Cheryl wanted to expand her business to increase capacity and to allow her to expand her take-out menu through online food orders. Thanks to a $22,990 loan from the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program, Cheryl is now able to completely renovate its space and expand to accommodate more customers.
- Raaka Chocolate – Inspired by his experiences tasting local organic chocolates in Thailand, Ryan Cheney returned to the United States to start his own chocolate company, Raaka Chocolate. He first developed relationships with farmers in the Dominican Republic and Bolivia to import free-trade, organic cacao; and then began creating new flavors while working from his home and selling primarily through farmer's markets. When demand for his products dramatically increased, Ryan secured a $10,000 loan through the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program to purchase inventory and supplies, as well as cover costs of selling at well-known New York locations, including Union Square and Columbus Circle markets. Raaka Chocolate has since grown and added staff to support production of its products, which are now sold online to customers nationwide and can be found in more than 50 stores throughout Manhattan.
Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream's Impact
Working with non-profit micro-lender Accion in the U.S. and its various partners, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream has already provided $1.7 million of micro-financing to 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.
"From restaurants to beverage suppliers to food carts, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream is having a significant impact on New York City's food and beverage small business community," commented Paul Quintero, CEO of Accion East and Online. "Its success in large part lies in the fact that it brings together two very important resources – financing and real-world knowledge. When combined, as they are via this program, small business owners really do become empowered to pursue their American Dream."
For more information about the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program, please visit www.samueladams.com/btad.