Beer maker Samuel Adams has announced it will host its next small business Speed Coaching event in Seattle, marking the first time the event has headed to the state of Washington.
Designed to provide expert, personalized business advice, the event is part of Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, a micro-lending and coaching program for small business owners working in food, beverage, craft brewing and hospitality. In Seattle, Samuel Adams is partnering with Mercy Corps Northwest, a nonprofit organization that helps entrepreneurs with microfinance, business training and direct assistance.
Speed Coaching, will be held from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. PDT at Impact Hub Seattle (220 2nd Ave South). Small business owners in the food, beverage and craft brewing industries will have the opportunity to participate in up to six 20-minute, high-impact coaching sessions with Samuel Adams and Mercy Corps professionals, as well as local area business experts, in areas such as sales and distribution, packaging, finance, and marketing. Small business owners can register online for the free event at http://btadseattle.eventbrite.com.
Participants are encouraged to bring samples of product, packaging, and other items on which they seek feedback, and should come prepared with questions regarding specific challenges their businesses are facing. For example, a small business owner may want to ask a finance professional for advice on how to competitively price his/her product.
"Seattle is full of food and beverage craftspeople who are fueling the small business community," said Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Samuel Adams. "We look forward to bringing our Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Speed Coaching to Seattle for the first time to help support these passionate small business owners through real-world business advice and counseling."
Microloans for Seattle Small Business
While Speed Coaching is making its Seattle debut, the Brewing the American Dream program supports microloans to small businesses in the region year-round. Administered through Mercy Corps Northwest, Brewing the American Dream loans (typically ranging from $500-$25,000) often help local small business owners in greater Seattle who've been turned down by traditional lenders due to lack of credit, the small size of the loan request, or the volatile nature of the food and beverage industry.
A good example is the Old Ballard Liquor Co., an artisan nano-distillery in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. The company's founder wanted to expand distribution of her old fashioned liquors and liqueurs but struggled to secure financing. She was able, however, to receive a loan through Brewing the American Dream that allowed her to purchase small equipment and additional inventory as well as increase her operating capital.
"We are pleased to partner with the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program to provide microloans and business counseling to Seattle's small businesses," said John Haines, Executive Director of Mercy Corps Northwest. "This funding and coaching allows establishments like Old Ballard Liquor Co. to grow their businesses and support our economy, and we look forward to making the program available to many more local food and beverage entrepreneurs."
Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Inspiration and Impact
Although founder and brewer, Jim Koch, is celebrating the 30th anniversary this year of Samuel Adams, he hasn't forgotten how hard it is to start and run a successful small business. That's why he created Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, a unique program that provides the two things he wishes he had when starting Sam Adams: financing and real-world business advice. Since its creation in 2008, the program, in partnership with Accion, the nation's leading nonprofit provider of small business capital and coaching, has coached more than 4,000 small business owners, provided over $3 million in microloans to more than 350 small businesses, and helped create or retain more than 2,000 jobs. The program has also seen an unprecedented loan repayment rate of 98.1 percent.