Getting a brand new business off of the ground isn’t always easy. Jim Koch, founder of the Boston Beer Company, had a very hard time securing a business loan when he started his brewery more than 25 years ago. That’s why he created the company’s Brewing the American Dream program.
Through a partnership with a ACCION USA (a nonprofit organization that handles small business loans) the folks behind Sam Adams are able to help businesses that are seeking less money than the typical $15,000 minimum required by banks for a business loan. Koch says that so far the microloans have ranged from $1,000 – $17,000.
The loans are given out to businesses in the food and beverage industry, simply because the company feels that they have the most expertise in that area. The program also offers mentoring and training sessions for the owners. These benefits can help them deal with challenges like legal issues, payroll taxes, real estate problems and other concerns they may face in their early years.
In its third year, the program has already made 41 loans to 37 different businesses and the $300,000 loaned out has helped to create 282 jobs.
Koch explained that the goal is it use the money paid back, to loan out again – to another start up company. So far, the repayment rate has been 90 percent.
According to Koch, the best part of the program is visiting the businesses they’ve helped and watching them succeed. He explained, “it keeps us attached to our entrepreneurial roots.”
Surprisingly, the program currently has more money than applicants. If you’re a qualified applicant that could benefit, just visit samueladams.com and click on the Brewing the American Dream tab.
[techtags:BOSTON BEER CO, SAM ADAMS, BREWING THE AMERICAN DREAM, BEER NEWS]