Innovative financing for small business owners - A beer
company came to the rescue (1)
From left to right: Chris Spinelli, Jim Koch (founder of Boston Beer), and Jon Mervine (co-founder of
Owner: Chris Spinelli
Location: Rochester, N.Y.
Shortly after launching ROC Brewery in February 2010, we needed to start raising some capital. But
when we approached angel investors and banks, we quickly discovered how hard it is to raise capital
in today's shaky economy.
What's worse, a microbrewery in the heart of downtown Rochester isn't exactly an easy sell when it
comes to securing a loan. Many microbreweries go under within the first few years so not too many
investors are eager to jump on board. Then we found out about Samuel Adams Brewing the
The four-year-old program provides microloans to low- to moderate-income small business owners in
the food and beverage industry. After filling out reams of paperwork, and waiting four months for an
answer, we received a three-year loan for $10,000.
While the application process itself was just as labor-intensive as applying for a bank loan, the
coaching and mentoring we've received from Samuel Adams employees, and its founder Jim Koch,
has been unbelievable.
At a moment's notice, we can call any one of Samuel Adams' vice presidents to discuss procurement
strategies and supply chain solutions.
NEXT: A venture fund helped us out
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