Big Top Brewing Co. of Sarasota County
Big Top Brewing Co. started in Sarasota when there were few other craft breweries in town. The crew, passionate about craft brewing for years, was excited to start a business that brought their love of craft beer to fruition while also honoring Sarasota’s storied history.
With a production brewery, tasting room and live entertainment, Hurricane Irma put a damper on business after she swept through Florida in September 2017, knocking out power for nine days, which also affected revenue.
That’s when Mike Bisaha, chief executive officer of Big Top Brewing, set out to find some assistance to get business back on track. Bisaha reached out to the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida for assistance in applying for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan. When asked about his experience with the storm and the assistance received, he recalled:
What type of damage occurred?
We lost power for nine days.
How will the Bridge Loan help?
Allowing us to spread the lost revenue over six months at zero percent interest is a huge help.
How was the Florida SBDC at USF helpful during this process?
Very helpful! Constant follow up and questions to see how they could help us.