With interest at or near an all-time high in the burgeoning craft beer market, MTSU will be hosting industry representatives and the public for the Tennessee Craft Beer and Spirit Distilleries International Sales Opportunities Forum.
The event, which is free, will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, at MTSU’s Miller Education Center atrium, located at 503 E. Bell St. in Murfreesboro.
The forum is for current or first-time exporters looking to expand their markets.
Lunch is included, but reservations are requested. Visit here to reserve your spot.
Dr. Tony Johnston, director of the growing MTSU Fermentation Science Program, said several key industry professionals will participate, including Leslee Alexander with the Tennessee Small Business Development Center and Nashville attorney Rachel Schaffer Lawson.
Industry professionals’ topics will include:
• Market opportunities.
• Mitigating risk in the international marketplace.
• Financial solutions for exporters.
• Highlight support money available to Tennessee exporters.
Alexander will discuss what it takes to become a first-time exporter, how to start an export business and what help is available, Johnston said.
Hosted at MTSU, the TSBDC features a network of offices across the state staffed by certified professional business counselors who assist small business owners, entrepreneurs and individuals with developing their business ideas for services and products.
Lawson, whose legal expertise includes the alcoholic beverage business, will discuss how to finance exporting, insurance, marketing, potential legal issues and more, Johnston added. The entrepreneur and owner of Schaffer Law Firm PLLC even makes her own beer at home for family and friends.
Lawson also taught a legal class for MTSU fermentation science students last spring.
“For anybody thinking about starting a brewery, distillery or winery, this is vital information for planning purposes,” Johnston said. “There will be a good, comprehensive lineup of speakers. … People need to be aware of the responsibilities and the help that is out there.”
MTSU, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Tennessee Small Business Development Center and the MTSU Fermentation Science Program are event sponsors.
—Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)