Business

Reports focusing on the latest business news and trends along California's Central Coast.

The southern two-thirds of the KCBX listening area falls within the 805 area code. In fact, some people refer to the portion of the Central Coast simply as “the” 805. There’s even a beer brand that pays homage to it.

This area of California is also a bit disjointed with large areas of open space or agricultural land separating population centers.

A relatively new organization—805 Connect—is working to bring those communities together in an effort to help foster economic growth.

Jordan Bell, KCBX News

One of the Central Coast's largest and fastest-growing companies is set to offer shares to the public in the coming days.

Flickr member Omar Bárcena

This past weekend, Cal Poly awarded an honorary doctorate degree to San Luis Obispo hotel owner and Central Coast philanthropist Phyllis Madonna.

Madonna has been a resident and business owner in the local community for more than 60 years and is the mother of four Cal Poly alumni.

Best known as the owner of the iconic Madonna Inn, Madonna is also well known for her contributions to the local arts scene, including the San Luis Obispo Symphony, Festival Mosaic, the PAC. She's also a supporter of the local women's shelter.

San Luis Obispo Hothouse

Funding for a San Luis Obispo business incubator will now be included in the County's annual budget.

The board of supervisors unanimously approved an annual $200,000 in funds for the San Luis Obispo HotHouse this week.

Supervisor Adam Hill said he worked to create a partnership with the Hothouse and pushed to add funding for the incubator to the annual budget.

The HotHouse is a collaboration between Cal Poly and the community to help students and community members create businesses.

Flickr member Diana Parkhouse

San Luis Obispo County's housing market is among the hottest in the nation according to a new list published by Realtor.com and highlighted through ConsumerAffairs.

The rankings are based on home demand and speed of sale in the county's largest 200 markets. San Luis Obispo County landed at No. 13 behind Santa Cruz (No. 12) and just in front of Ventura County (No. 14).

Alex Ullrich, KCBX News

The largest brewery on the Central Coast, Firestone Walker in Paso Robles, is working to solve an odor problem that has plagued the brewery and local neighbors for days.

Brewing requires a lot of water, and much of that water can be collected and saved, so Firestone Walker Brewery decided to build water retention ponds for that purpose. The problem is that once the ponds started to fill up with water from the brewery, bacteria started to grow and put off a foul odor. 

Adam Firestone, one of the company's founders, says this clearly wasn't part of the plan.

Flickr member Sean MacEntee

Business leaders in Santa Barbara County are coming together Friday in an effort to ensure high speed internet access is available county-wide.

The Santa Barbara Broadband Task Force will meet in Buellton with a goal of expanding the service, says Ken Oplinger with regional Chamber of Commerce.

Source: EMSI QCEW and non-QCEW Employment 2014.3

A jobs report released this month shows San Luis Obispo County is challenged when it comes to the number of high-paying positions available.

Last year, the SLO County Workforce Investment Board partnered with BW Research Partnership, Inc. to conduct a study on the local economy.

The report found the county has had a strong recovery in terms of total employment, exceeding the numbers of neighboring Central Coast counties.

A Central Coast based company that teaches online "how-to" courses on technology is being acquired by Silicon Valley giant LinkedIn.

The purchase price for Carpinteria-based Lynda.com is estimated at $1.5 billion dollars, which includes a combination of cash and stock.

"This is such an exciting moment in the 20-year history of lynda.com, and I couldn't imagine a better pairing than lynda.com and LinkedIn," said Lynda Weinman, co-founder and executive chair of the board of lynda.com in a company statement.

Flickr member brian washburn

California State Parks and the City of Morro Bay's Harbor Advisory Board are considering plans for new development and management at the Morro Bay State Park marina.

The current facilities, including the Bayside Cafe, are operated through a concession contract that expired more than 20 years ago.

A meeting to collect public comment is scheduled for April 2, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. in the Morro Bay Veteran's Memorial Hall.

Ty Safreno, Trust Automation

The specialized manufacturing sector of the San Luis Obispo County economy accounts for 2.27 percent of the jobs in the area, but according to number from the Economic Vitality Corporation (EVC), those jobs come with an average pay-scale higher then most other industries — $65,855.

While relatively small, the sector is growing. The latest numbers show it grew seven percent from 2008 to 2014.

GUESTS:

Ty Safreno, CEO and co-owner of Trust Automation, Inc., is the co-chair of EVC's Specialized Manufacturing Council.

Avila Beach population could triple if housing proposal is approved

Mar 9, 2015
Kara Woodruff

As many as 1,500 homes could be built at Wild Cherry Canyon near Avila Beach if a new, controversial proposal gets approval. Avila Beach residents and supporters of the Wild Cherry Canyon conservation effort are upset over the potential housing development that could triple the size of the small beach town's population.

Kara Woodruff spearheaded the Wild Cherry Canyon protection effort and says she has concerns about issues surrounding water availability, sensitive habitat, and traffic.

PB Companies

The recent passage of the City of San Luis Obispo’s update to the General Plan—known as the LUCE, or Land Use and Circulation Elements—opened the door for several large development projects to move forward.

One of the those is a $16.5 million project that sits at the intersection of South Higuera and Tank Farm Road, called the SLO Public Market.

Some long-time locals may know the parcel as the historic Long-Bonetti Ranch.

A Central Coast city on the verge of insolvency last fall, now has a much brighter future according to those in charge.

A major housing development broke ground Wednesday in the City of Guadalupe. When finished, it could boost the city's population from roughly 7100 to above the 10,000 mark.

The total development is on more than 200 acres and will include 800 homes and will be built in stages over 10 to 15 years.

Jessica Dieny

Todd Fisher, the son of Hollywood icon Debbie Reynolds and the brother of Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher, recently went public with a high-end production company on the Central Coast. The Hollywood Motion Picture Experience (HMPE) is located in the small San Luis Obispo County town of Creston.

Fisher is the co-founder and chief creative officer of the full production and post-production house that he built on his secluded, self-sustaining, solar-powered ranch.

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