NEW YORK, June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) presents its prestigious Founder's Award at the 10th Annual Excellence Awards in Corporate Philanthropy to The Boston Beer Company. Two years ago, Samuel Adams Founder and Brewer Jim Koch introduced the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream® program, an initiative dedicated to aiding low to moderate income small business owners in the food and beverage industry. The program is being recognized for its commitment to helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.
Actor Paul Newman and other business leaders founded CECP in 1999. The organization's Excellence Awards in Corporate Philanthropy are among the most coveted awards in the corporate giving community, drawing an extraordinary pool of nominees each year. These awards are presented annually to companies demonstrating outstanding leadership in corporate philanthropy. The Founder's Award recognizes a corporation with revenues less than US$5bn that has exhibited outstanding leadership in its category, demonstrated a commitment to innovation, and set benchmarks for measuring the outcomes of its partnerships. This year's award recognizes The Boston Beer Company and honors the Company's passionate commitment to helping entrepreneurial-minded individuals make their mark in the food and beverage business. Driven by Jim Koch's commitment to sharing with and engaging other entrepreneurial small business owners, The Boston Beer Company created a partnership with ACCION USA, a pioneering nonprofit micro-lending organization, to establish the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program. This program, now celebrating its second anniversary, provides small business owners in the food and beverage industry with the tools they need to help them become financially independent, including access to capital. Senior management and employees from The Boston Beer Company host events and share their expertise and insights to provide these entrepreneurs with mentoring and coaching, while ACCION USA provides financial education and manages the loan program funded by The Boston Beer Company.
"When I started The Boston Beer Company I couldn't get a bank loan or find capital, plus there was so much I didn't know about starting a small business," said Koch. "As the company grew and became more successful, we naturally identified with other 'little guys' who benefited from a leg up to help achieve their dreams. It became important to me to find a way to give back to other start-ups like mine and create opportunities for them to get funding and advice. I know how useful that would have been in starting Samuel Adams 25 years ago."
"It is rewarding to know that through Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, we are helping the financially underserved food and beverage entrepreneur community to achieve success. This Award is particularly gratifying as it honors the significant contributions of the hard working employees of The Boston Beer Company and their commitment to helping others succeed," added Koch.
The Boston Beer Company made an initial investment of $250,000 in June 2008 to create the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Loan Fund at ACCION USA to provide micro-loans to small business owners. Most of these loans range from $5,000 to $10,000. Typically, many of the small businesses receiving funding would be unable to secure bank loans or other means of traditional financing.
Since its inception two years ago, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream has provided loans to more than 40 businesses and has helped create or save nearly 300 jobs in New England. Through Speed Coaching and Business Literacy Workshops made available through the program, nearly 500 businesses have had access to free advice and guidance from experts at The Boston Beer Company and ACCION USA.
THE BOSTON BEER COMPANY BACKGROUND
The Boston Beer Company began in 1984 with a generations-old family recipe that Founder and Brewer Jim Koch uncovered in his father's attic. After bringing the recipe to life in his kitchen, Jim brought it to bars in Boston with the belief that drinkers would appreciate a complex, full-flavored beer, brewed fresh in America. That beer was Samuel Adams Boston Lager®, and it helped catalyze what became known as the American craft beer revolution.
Today, the Company brews more than 21 styles of beer. The Company uses the traditional four vessel brewing process and often takes extra steps like dry-hopping and a secondary fermentation known as krausening. It passionately pursues the development of new styles and the perfection of its classic beers by constantly searching for the world's finest ingredients. While resurrecting traditional brewing methods, the Company has earned a reputation as a pioneer in another revolution, the "extreme beer" movement, where it seeks to challenge drinkers' perceptions of what beer can be. The Boston Beer Company strives to elevate the image of American craft beer by entering festivals and competitions the world over, and in the past five years it has won more awards in international beer competitions than any other brewery in the world. The Company remains independent, and brewing quality beer remains its single focus. While Samuel Adams is the country's largest-selling craft beer, it accounts for just under one percent of the U.S. beer market. For more information, please visit www.samueladams.com.
ABOUT THE EXCELLENCE AWARDS IN CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY
Since 2000, CECP has presented Excellence Awards annually to companies such as Arch Chemicals, Cisco Systems, GlaxoSmithKline, GE, Grand Circle Corporation, Hasbro, IBM, Liquidnet Holdings, Inc., Merck, Moody's Corporation, Novartis, Pfizer, The PNC Financial Services Group, salesforce.com, Target, Timberland, The Western Union Company, and Whole Foods Market, and to nonprofits including the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, The Children's Health Fund, Community Voice Mail, Jumpstart, KaBOOM!, and National Academy Foundation. Excellence Award winners are selected by an independent selection committee composed of experts from the corporate, government, media, nonprofit, consulting, and academic communities.
ABOUT THE COMMITTEE ENCOURAGING CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY (CECP)
CECP is the only international forum of business CEOs and chairpersons focused exclusively on corporate philanthropy. Founded by actor-philanthropist Paul Newman and other business leaders in 1999, CECP's 175 members lead the business community in raising the level and quality of corporate philanthropy. Membership includes global executives who are committed to advancing the business case for philanthropy and inspiring others to make a positive impact through sustainable corporate giving.
ABOUT ACCION USA
ACCION USA is a leading U.S. microfinance organization that provides access to capital and financial education to low- and moderate-income individuals, primarily minorities and women. A pioneer and recognized leader in U.S. microfinance, ACCION USA empowers individuals to create sustainable businesses, increase family incomes, and contribute to the economic development of cities across the U.S. Since inception in 1991, ACCION USA has provided over $116 million in small business loans ranging from $500 to $50,000, offered nationwide via the ACCION USA online lending platform. For more information about small business loans, visit www.accionusa.org.
SOURCE Samuel Adams