How’s this for giving back? Sam Adams founder offers loans to small businesses

on 24/01/11 at 11:10 am

Booze News

It isn’t easy starting a business.

James Koch, founder and president of the Boston Beer Company, knows that. He produced his first batch of the renowned Sam Adams beer in his kitchen.

“I knew how to make beer,” he said. “I didn’t know how to run a business.”

To that end, Koch established and funded Brewing the American Dream, a loan program designed to provide small loans to low- and moderate-income business owners in the food and beverage field.

“A small company has needs that are not being met,” Koch said. “You need a loan, but you also need coaching and advice.”

Koch said he got the idea for the loan program, which he funds, after he and his employees took part in a community service day in South Boston.

“We painted a community center,” he said. “I thought that I had all these talented people here, and they’re painting walls and taping woodwork.

“We’re a small company,” Koch said. “We’re close to our entrepreneurial roots.”

Using his own money and working with a nonprofit microloan provider called ACCION, Koch started Brewing the American Dream, providing small loans and expertise to companies in a business he knew well.

“We provide the money,” Koch said. “This is a philanthropic project for us.”

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