Best Nonprofit Organization
1. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Ranked one of the top zoos in the country by several national media outlets, it should be no surprise Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is also voted Best Place to Take Your Family and Tourist Attraction by nearby residents.
“This local recognition means a lot to us because we work so hard to be a resource for inspiration, memory-making and mental well-being for our local community,” Rachel Wright, public relations and social media manager for the zoo, said in an email. “Being recognized as a top place to take the family means the Colorado Springs business community is taking notice of our work to make a deep and lasting impact on our guests and members every single time they visit.”
Opened in 1926, the zoo has continued to evolve and grow (including its new exhibit, Water’s Edge: Africa) into a top, local attraction that also has a unique mission, Wright said.
“While our mountain zoo shares the topography of many local family attractions, our residents and mission are especially unique,” she said. “… Every visit to the Zoo is conservation in action. Annual admissions typically allow us to send more than half a million dollars to protect wild animals and their habitats all around the world, and right here in the Rocky Mountain region.”
cmzoo.org | 719-633-9925
2. National Mill Dog Rescue
nmdr.org | 719-445-6787
3. [TIE] Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado
careandshare.org | 719-528-1247
3. [TIE] Rocky Mountain Health Care Services
rmhcare.org | 719-466-8777
Best Craft Brewery & Brewpub
1. Bristol Brewing Co.
Bristol may not be the oldest brewery in Colorado Springs, but it’s up there. Established in 1994, Bristol has made its beers and its brand iconic in the Pikes Peak region, building customer loyalty with consistent quality and a commitment to community, and anchoring the Ivywild School with its pub. Four times a year, the brewery releases a “Community Ale,” from which all profits go to one of four long-standing local charities (one of which is, in the interest of disclosure, the GIVE! Campaign run by Colorado Publishing House, which owns CSBJ). And every Tuesday 6-8 p.m., the brewery hosts Karma Hour, during which a local nonprofit receives a dollar from every pint sold. Considering also the brewery’s variety of seasonal and limited-run beers, it’s not hard to see why locals have continued to rally behind Bristol for the last 26 years.
bristolbrewing.com | 719-633-2555
2. Cerberus Brewing Co.
cerberusbrewingco.com | 719-636-2337
3. Goat Patch Brewing Company
goatpatchbrewing.com | 719-471-4628
Independent Coffee Shop
1. Urban Steam
Owner Kelly Bubach opened the doors to Urban Steam in south downtown in November 2012.
“At that time there was not a big coffee scene here in Colorado Springs, and not much of a third-wave coffee presence at all,” Bubach said.
Eight years later and the regional coffee scene has certainly matured, but fans and baristas across town know Urban Steam helped pave the way.
“Our business is based on our love for great coffee, and we source and roast some of the best coffees in the world,” Bubach said. “With these great coffees we are able to provide delicious, European-styled, espresso-forward coffee drinks, and in an eclectic setting with great energy and decor that belies the sleepy façade of the building and Mill Street neighborhood. … Our passion for all things good extends to our scratch kitchen and craft bar, where we create and concoct amazing food and beverages that keep our customers coming back for more.”
urbansteam.com | 719-473-7832
2. The Perk Downtown
theperkdowntown.com | 719-635-1600
3. Kangaroo Coffee
kangaroocoffeellc.com | 719-388-0150
Chamber of Commerce
1. Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce & EDC
“Making CSBJ’s Best in Business list is an honor any year, but especially so in 2020,” said Nora Hardin, senior vice president of membership and events for the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC. In spite of how much has happened in the first half of the year alone, the Chamber has weathered it all and adapted to support the needs of Springs businesses. In response to the COVID-19 lockdown, the Chamber built a webpage with links to resources from grants to reopening guidelines, as well as hosting a help hotline.
“Pivoting our own operations and programming to provide our members with the tools, information and resources they need to weather the pandemic and begin recovery is an organization-wide effort that includes our team, board of directors, and ambassadors,” said Hardin. “We’re humbled and grateful to our members for recognizing this work and voting for us.”
coloradospringschamberedc.com | 719-471-8183
2. Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce
chamber.scwcc.com | 719-442-2007
3. Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Bureau and Office of Economic Development
manitousprings.org | 719-685-5089
Best Auto Dealer
1. Phil Long Dealerships
Phil Long Dealerships has been in business for 75 years, now operating dealerships in Colorado and northern New Mexico. During the COVID-19 shutdown, they offered a free oil change and safety inspection to essential workers. Due to demand, the two-week program was extended through the end of May and served over 3,500 workers.
“It feels great to see that the community recognizes and appreciates the hard work and commitment of the thousand-plus Phil Long employees,” said Kevin Shaughnessy, partner and VP of operations. “I get to work with them every day and I know how hard they work and how much they care about our customers. I’m thrilled to see this translates into our customers’ appreciation. We will absolutely keep it up and keep raising our game.”
phillong.com | 719-387-5744
2. Red Noland Auto Group
3. Larry H. Miller Toyota Colorado Springs
toyotaofcoloradosprings.com | 866-778-3304
Best Place of Worship
1. Center for Spiritual Living
CSL aims to embrace a spiritual philosophy for the modern world. “Centers for Spiritual Living are open and affirming,” said Dr. Kenn Gordon, spiritual leader of Centers for Spiritual Living worldwide. “We not only accept, we celebrate our uniqueness and our diversity, including LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex and asexual or ally) in our communities, we affirm our LGBTQIA clergy and we support all our clergy performing same-sex marriages.”
CSL’s founders “…viewed religion as a source of wisdom that enables us to participate in our own lives as co-creators with the Divine,” Gordon emphasized.
“CSL Colorado Springs is a voice that allows people to stand in the greatness of who they are,” said Senior Minister Norm Bouchard. “Explore the greatness of who you can be — everybody is welcome!”
cslcs.org | 719-596-6894
2. First Presbyterian Church
firstprescos.org | 719-884-6100
3. Sacred Heart Catholic Church
sacredheartcos.org | 719-633-7811
Best Professional Association
1. Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado
“The Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado is celebrating 40 years in Colorado Springs, and is honored to be a finalist in CSBJ’s Best in Business,” says Jonathan Liebert, CEO and executive director. “We are often told by our business community that they value their local BBB because we are dedicated to a single vision of helping to create an ethical marketplace where buyers and sellers trust each other.”
According to VP of Marketing and Events Paul Myers-Bennett, BBB of Southern Colorado processed over 1,800 customer complaints in 2019, part of their mission of helping cultivate a business environment defined by high standards for quality of service.
“We believe that trust is key in any business relationship, and our team works hard every day to ensure that Colorado Springs consumers and businesses have a non-partial ally in facilitating ethical business,” Liebert said.
bbb.org | 719-636-1155
2. Pikes Peak Association of Realtors
ppar.com | 719-633-7718
3. Colorado Springs Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 5
iafflocal5.com | 719-596-4618
Private Sector Employer
1. Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs
Prior to last year, there wasn’t really a place for sick kiddos in southern Colorado to call their own. That changed when Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Springs opened on the city’s northeast side.
The hospital was named the Best Private Sector Employer by Colorado Springs Business Journal readers. Margaret Sabin, president of Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Southern Region, attributes that win to the personal missions many employees bring with them to work each day.
“What makes Children’s Hospital Colorado different is not the hospital itself, but the people who work here,” Sabin said. “It is their passion, their compassion and their talent that sets our hospital apart and makes this place such a special place to work. This award is truly a testament to them and the culture they create for each other and for our patients each and every day.”
childrenscolorado.org/locations/colorado-springs-hospital | 1-800-624-6553
2. YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region
ppymca.org | 719-471-9790
3. Colorado College
coloradocollege.edu | 719-389-6000
Social Impact Company
1. Poor Richard’s
It’s hard to believe that the bookstore/café/toy store/restaurant complex founded by Richard Skorman has been in operation for 45 years now. But while Skorman serves as president of City Council and his spouse, Patricia Seator, runs the business, its legacy of impact remains intact.
When Amendment 2 banned any protected status for LGBTQ persons in 1992, Skorman famously turned Poor Richard’s into an opposition cornerstone. And when COVID-19 hit the U.S. in 2020, the company restructured to keep doing as much business as possible without putting customers or staff at risk, while also trying to minimize layoffs and lost hours. Laszlo Palos, director of marketing and public relations, told the Business Journal in March, “Our goal is to be able to bring more of those staff members back to work in a way that is safe for them, their families and our community.”
2. Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center
gardenofgods.com | 719-634-6666
3. Discover Goodwill of Southern & Western Colorado
discovermygoodwill.org | 719-635-4483
Best Startup Resource
1. Pikes Peak Library District
For years, the Pikes Peak Library District has offered services that seem less like those of a library than of a community college.
“We have a dedicated staff member who works with local entrepreneurs who want to start businesses but also local businesses who want to research the market … to help local businesses find out what’s out there for them in the market,” said Public Relations Specialist Kayah Swanson.
“We provide an incredible amount of resources because we want local small businesses to succeed in our community.”
At the heart of that is the Business and Entrepreneurial Center, located at Library 21c, which also has a dedicated strategic services librarian for businesses and business needs. While the library has temporarily closed its physical locations due to COVID-19, they do offer digital resources at research.ppld.org/business and ppld.org/business-center.
2. Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center
pikespeaksbdc.org | 719-667-3803
3. [TIE] Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado
bbb.org | 719-636-1155
3. [TIE] El Pomar Institute for Innovation and Commercialization (EPIIC)
epiic.uccs.edu | 719-255-3686