CEF Celebrates National Small Business Week 2017 with Free Workshop and SBA Colorado Community Lender of the Year Award

Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) Presents FREE Workshop in Denver for Craft Beer Entrepreneurs During Colorado Small Business Week with 2017 Theme:

The Faces of Small Business

CEF to Receive 2017 Award for Colorado Community Lender of the Year from Small Business Administration (SBA) on May 3rd


What:  CEF will present a free workshop for first-time entrepreneurs during Colorado Small Business Week (April 30–May 6): Crafting Success: From Home Brews to Beer Biz. Attendees will learn about loans available for first-time entrepreneurs, including specific CEF loan products for new companies. CEF staff will share what to expect during the loan process and what in-house business advisory services CEF offers. This workshop will focus on the craft beer industry, featuring success stories from first-time brewers and distributors who launched their businesses with the help of loans provided by CEF, and will also include a beer tasting! As of the latest statistics compiled for 2015, the craft beer industry in Colorado had a $1.7 billion impact with more than 350 breweries throughout the state. Colorado Small Business Week is part of a national initiative presented annually by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). This year’s initiative in our state will focus on the theme: The Faces of Small Business in Colorado.


When: Friday, May 5 from 1:00 pm–2:30 pm


Where: The Commons on Champa

1245 Champa St.

Denver, CO 80204


Who: CEF’s workshop is open to the public and presented in partnership with the Commons on Champa, the City of Denver Office of Economic Development and the U.S. Small Business Administration-Colorado District Office. The event will feature four guest speakers, all CEF borrowers who will share their personal success stories:


·         Chad MillerBlack Shirt Brewing Co: Launched in 2013, Black Shirt Brewing Company specializes in handmade, small-batch red ales. In an era of fast-paced, high volume craft beer-making to satisfy demand and generate profits, allowing an artisanal beer to age in oak barrels is unusual. But Black Shirt Brewing Company knew this is what would set them apart. And it has. Read their CEF success story.


·         Brian O’ConnellRenegade Brewing: Brian and Khara O’Connell made their hobby into a business when they opened Renegade Brewing Company in 2011, a time when Denver only had eight breweries. Their little brewery in the Arts District on Santa Fe has since been discovered and grown. Renegade signed with a distributor so their beer is more accessible across Colorado and has moved to a new 15,000 square-foot warehouse. Renegade currently offers five year-round beers — one of which recently won an award at the Great American Beer Festival. CEF provided a loan for working capital to Renegade Brewing in August 2016.


·         Tom JaskoColorado Craft Distributors:  Established in 2016, this wholesaler of beer, cider, spirits and wine specializes in sales, warehousing and delivery for small and independently-owned businesses. With a diversified portfolio of brands from Colorado including some CEF borrowers’ products, co-owners Tom Jasko and Christopher McGraw received a CEF loan for working capital in January 2017.  


·         David LevesqueLaunch Pad Brewery: A neighborhood nano brewery that produces unique hand-crafted ales, owners Dave and Erin started Launch Pad brewery in 2013 in their garage, inviting friends to join them for “brew day.” Believing good beer should be shared amongst friends, Launch Pad expanded to their current location in Aurora after receiving a CEF loan in 2014.


CEF’s Lending Team will also be at the event to share information about loans for first-time entrepreneurs. CEF staff members attending include: Director of Lending Alan Ramirez; SBA Loan Specialist Marcia Johnston-Walden; and Loan Officer Hannah Gushurst-Jones. Find out more about these CEF staff members here.   


How to Register: There is no cost to register but a ticket is required for entrance. Registration is limited to 85. Members of the media may register by emailing Valerie Hamlin at bvkhamlin@msn.com. All others may register and reserve tickets via The Commons website (scroll down to register): http://www.thecommons.co/event/from-home-brews-to-beer-biz/


Why: CEF Supports Colorado Small Business Week (#COSBW) with Special Events

(April 30-May 6)

In addition to the workshop on May 5, CEF is partnering with the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) on additional events in Denver as part of this year’s National Small Business Week (#DreamSmallBiz) 9th annual celebration in Colorado:


·         Monday, May 1:

o   9:30 am-1:30 pm*: Together with Community Enterprise Development Services, CEF has organized a tour of refugee and immigrant small businesses in Aurora. The two organizations have helped newcomers from Asia, Africa and Central America resettle and prosper in this city’s diverse communities.


o   9:00 am-noon: First Time Entrepreneur Advising Hours with Hannah Gushurst-Jones, CEF Loan Officer. The Commons on Champa, 1245 Champa St. Denver, 720-484-5400.

*To be confirmed


·         Tuesday, May 2:

o   8:00 – 10:00 am: Colorado Emerging Ventures Breakfast. Featuring CEF’s Senior Loan Officer, Mike Jensen, this panel-style workshop breakfast will explain and discuss criteria a business needs to meet to qualify for a loan and how it works so business owners can understand where they fit in the financing landscape to grow their enterprises. Guaranty Bank and Trust, 401 Main Street, Longmont. 303-442-1475.


o   8:30 – 10:30 am: Access to Capital 101. This interactive workshop, sponsored by the Small Business Majority and Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce, will help participants navigate the funding landscape by focusing on microloans, crowdfunding, and reputable online lenders. Alan Ramirez, CEF Director of Lending, will be a guest panelist. Mile High United Way, 711 Park Avenue West, Denver. 303-831-0746.


·         Wednesday, May 3:

o   4:00 pm–5:30 pm: SBA Colorado Business Week Awards Reception (invitation only). CEF will receive the Colorado Community Lender of the Year award. Denver Public Library, 10 W. 14th Avenue Parkway, Denver. Also receiving awards are CEF Borrower Lorena Cantaroviciowner of Maria Empanada, who was named as the Small Business Person of the Year in Colorado; and The Women’s Business Center at Mi Casa Resource Center which will be receiving the National Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award. The Director of Business Development Programs at Mi Casa Resource Center, Elena Vasconez, sits on the Colorado Enterprise Fund Advisory Board.


·         Thursday, May 4:

o   Noon – 3:00 pm: Brighton Small Business Resource Expo.

§  12:30 – 1:30 pm: Access to Capital Panel Discussion featuring CEF’s Senior Loan Officer, Mike Jensen, this panel-style workshop will answer questions about small business loan options available from traditional banks and nonprofit lenders like CEF. Armory Performing Arts Center, 300 Strong Street, Brighton. Registration is free.  


§  1:30 – 2:30 pm: Business Acceleration Workshop. Part of the Brighton Small Business Resource Expo, this interactive workshop will help entrepreneurs, start-ups and ramp-ups detect and avoid potholes as they grow their businesses. CEF’s Business Acceleration Services Manager, Robert Anderson, will facilitate the workshop. Armory Performing Arts Center, 300 Strong Street, Brighton. Registration is free.


About Colorado Enterprise Fund

Founded in1976, Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) provides loans up to $500,000 to finance small businesses and startups unable to secure funding through traditional banks. With a mission to accelerate community prosperity by financing and supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses, CEF has provided more than $58 million in loans to nearly 2,000 businesses to help create or retain over 17,000 jobs in the state. A nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), CEF is based in Denver with a satellite office in Fort Collins. CEF’s lending and consulting services are available statewide. For more information, visit: www.coloradoenterprisefund.org


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Photos available upon request. 

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