Red Leg Brewing Company: PPP assures staff salary, benefits safe

by Dean J. Miller
djmillercommunications@gmail.com

“The service delivered by our tap room staff is the cornerstone of what we built our brand on. We probably have the most well-known beer tenders in town; the staff deserves all the credit for the success of our brand,” said Red Leg Brewing Company owner Todd Baldwin.

And it’s a brand with great success: in December, Red Leg celebrated ground breaking of a new brewing facility, tap room and outdoor venue. The event included the mayor and other Colorado Springs officials taking part. “We were in a great spot,” said Todd. “We had great publicity; tap room revenue was strong – we were well-ahead in sales of where we normally were for that time of year.”

By early March, regional spread of COVID-19 brought the Governor’s order closing all restaurants, bars, gyms and more. It was a gut punch to the Red Leg team.

“As an entrepreneur, I’d never experienced a challenge I couldn’t overcome; yet, here we were – shut down. It was tough; I went through all the negative emotions – anger, sadness, despair,” said Todd.

With his entire business at risk, the Army Veteran-turned successful entrepreneur made two crucial decisions within 24 hours: there would be no ‘knee-jerk’ reactions, and his valued staff would be kept on as long as possible.

“We were transparent with our staff; we told them how long payroll funds would last and that our goal was to keep them all working as long as we could,” said Todd. “Then we went to work to figure out how to sell product in a new environment, keeping staff and customers safe.”

Social distancing regulation allowed tap room curbside sales and kept liquor stores open. This kept Red Leg’s diversified line flowing through drive-up tap room purchase and in-store sales of canned brew. But revenue was down significantly.

“Through SBA and our friends at Pikes Peak SBDC, we quickly learned about the Paycheck Protection Program,” said Todd. “By taking care of our staff – keeping them on the job — we were eligible for this incredible grant.”

Red Leg Brewery submitted their PPP application on a Friday and had $100K in hand by Tuesday.

“Very few times in business, can you demonstrate the importance of your employees, their families, and their well-being in such a tangible way,” said Todd. “This program allowed my staff to know their salary and benefits were safe and that was most important to me.”

Today, Red Leg is focused on increasing sales and returning to a sustainable business model with the knowledge their payroll is covered.

“The experts at SBDC helped us to quickly learn what program was best for us – the tax ramifications and other details – needed to make the right decision. They were critical in helping us weather the storm and the support of this community has been tremendous.”

Todd Baldwin has been affiliated with Pikes Peak SBDC since before Red Leg brewed its first beer: he attended classes, received mentorship and later returned as a volunteer sharing his experience and advice to regional entrepreneurs attending Pikes Peak SBDC programs. Learn more at redlegbrewing.com.

Meet the Author

Pikes Peak SBDC

A Matter of Service

Despite military experience and more, Robin Bell felt institutional racism was depriving him of one job after another. So he created his own business, began employing other veterans and working to break down barriers to success for the disadvantaged.         Robin Bell has worked since he was eight years old, and he’s had to prove himself every step of the way. He started by mowing lawns and shoveling snow, and at age 11 he delivered newspapers,

Read Story »

Ascension Engineering Group reaches for the stars

by Dean J. Millerdjmillercommunications@gmail.com Fascinated by all things technology in their youth, neither Andrew Dark nor Dan Wilson would have anticipated a future as leaders of one of the hottest space systems engineering start-ups in the nation. Today the founders of Ascension Engineering Group, LLC. support America’s warfighters with high tech by prioritizing the most basic soft skills. At Ascension, taking care of people is a foundational company priority that includes an emphasis on mentoring,

Read Story »

A Very Sweet Start

“I used Leading Edge™ to literally launch my business,” says Lori Morrissey, owner of Lori Lynn’s Cookies & Cream, a food truck specializing in tantalizing ice cream sandwiches and lavish from-scratch pastries, based out of the Tri-Lakes area. Morrissey had run a cookie delivery business locally named True Mountain Bakery between 2016 and 2019, and was ready to level-up. Shortly after the pandemic took hold in early 2020, she was searching online for business classes

Read Story »

Small Subject Matters

Lauren Wallace had spent 14 years in the nonprofit sector, the last few of which had her coordinating with students and families and traveling internationally. Since leaving her home state of California, she’s lived in Germany, China and Italy, as well as a few states in the U.S. She moved to Colorado Springs in 2018, and her career path would have continued indefinitely were it not for the Covid pandemic. In 2020, she lost her job.

Read Story »
Skip to content