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When Jim Koch wanted to start the Boston Beer Company more than 25 years ago, the hardest thing was getting someone to give him a business loan.
The Milford Daily News reports that now, the founder of the brewery that makes Samuel Adams Boston Lager is making it easier for small businesses to get a loan with the company’s Brewing the American Dream program.
The idea really came out of my experience of starting Samuel Adams,” said Koch. “I couldn’t get anyone to give me a loan and (the brewery) turned out to be a pretty good idea.”
The brewery has partnered with ACCION USA, a nonprofit organization that handles small business loans, to administer the loans.
The loan program is meant for businesses that are seeking less money than the usual $15,000 that is typically the minimum required by banks for business loans.
The microloans have ranged from $1,000 to $17,000, Koch said.
“There’s a real funding gap for loans under $20,000,” he said. “They aren’t available from normal sources.”
Although $1,000 may not seem like a lot, to a person trying to start a business, such as a catering business out of their home, it can mean the difference between opening a business to never being able to do so.
The program is about more than just the money. Koch said they want to help the businesses succeed beyond just starting up.
“You need to have an enormous range of skills, things you typically don’t think about,” he said. “You face legal issues. You face things like payroll taxes. Often you have to deal with real estate issues, landlord issues. You have to know where to get raw materials. There’s a whole range of things you have to think about and small business owners have to have a solution for all these things.”
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Photo by Boston Beer Company.