The Boston Beer Company Honored
DAVID WARNER CITY & SUPPLY, JIM KOCH BOSTON BEER COMPANY and ERIKA EURKUS ACCION USA
The Boston Business Journal has honored The Boston Beer Company for creating Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, a program that assists low and moderate income micro-entrepreneurs in the food and beverage industry– presenting the award to Founder and Brewer Jim Koch during its Fourth Annual Corporate Citizenship Summit held in Boston. Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream provides many different kinds of support to financially underserved food and beverage entrepreneurs, including seminars, workshops, mentoring, and speed coaching events where Boston Beer employees provide their expertise one-on-one and with small groups. Hundreds of current and aspiring have participants have attended these events. In addition, The Boston Beer Company donated $25O,OOO to create a Loan Fund that provides micro-loans to small business owners. Most of these loans range from between $5OOO and $1O,OOO. Many of the small businesses receiving loans would be unable to secure bank loans or other means of traditional financing. To date, the Sam Adams program has provided loans to more than 3O businesses and has helped create or save more than 24O jobs in New England.
The award, presented at the Boston Business Journal’s 2OO9 Corporate Philanthropy & Citizenship Summit, honors top corporate philanthropists and provides professional knowledge on how to begin or sustain a charitable mission. The award to Boston Beer Company was given for creativity and innovative partnership development with not-for-profit organizations. “We had several criteria in creating a philanthropy program with our name on it,” Koch said. “First, we wanted to do more than just write a check; we wanted to have a program where we truly leverage some of the unique assets we possess at Samuel Adams. I started Samuel Adams in my kitchen as a homebrewer, so I know first hand the challenges people face when turning a passion into a viable small business. Second, we wanted to focus on the food and beverage industry because it’s what we know. Third, we wanted to provide meaningful counsel and guidance. Employees throughout the company – from our graphic designers to our sales team to our computer gurus – have volunteered their time to give these aspiring entrepreneurs a leg up. We are honored by this award.”
In June, 2OO8 The Boston Beer Company announced a partnership with ACCION USA, a pioneer and leader in US microfinance that provides critical capital and financial education to small businesses. Since 1991 ACCION USA has been at the forefront of providing micro-loans to small businesses in the United States. It has garnered national attention for its ability to support tiny, often single-person ventures and its contribution to economic growth through job creation. As the loans are repaid, they are reissued to other participants, so that the value of the fund increases over time.