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The new Black Friday: Small businesses rely on Saturday promotion to boost sales

By   /  Friday, November 22nd, 2013  /  Small Business, Tri-County Economy  /  Comments Off on The new Black Friday: Small businesses rely on Saturday promotion to boost sales

Ellen Burnham, children’s book coordinator at Granada Books, and store owner Sharon Hoshida. The independent bookstore in downtown Santa Barbara is participating in a new holiday shopping initiative called Small Business Saturday. (Stephen Nellis / Business Times photo )

Small businesses throughout the Tri-Counties will offer their own promotional events and discounts as part of the most recent addition to the holiday shopping calendar, Small Business Saturday.

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Study: Skilled workers priced out of San Luis Obispo

By   /  Friday, November 15th, 2013  /  Central Coast, Real Estate, Top Stories, Tri-County Economy  /  Comments Off on Study: Skilled workers priced out of San Luis Obispo

Although San Luis Obispo’s real estate prices are lower than in many other parts of the Tri-Counties, wages are lower too, and by a wider margin. That makes the Central Coast one of the least affordable places in the United States, according to economists. (Creative Commons photo)

The findings highlight a pervasive mismatch between the high price of even starter homes and the number of jobs that pay wages high enough to support those prices. Experts say the gap is a significant roadblock to the state’s economic growth.

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Refinery rail project would ease crude oil supply concerns

By   /  Friday, November 1st, 2013  /  Central Coast, Technology, Top Stories, Tri-County Economy  /  Comments Off on Refinery rail project would ease crude oil supply concerns

A Phillips 66 refinery on the Nipomo Mesa is hoping to supplement its dwindling inflow of California crude by extending a rail spur that will allow it to import oil from out of state.

The refinery — tucked away off of Highway 1 in South San Luis Obispo County — is a little-known yet critical part of the Golden State’s petroleum infrastructure. It processes the state’s heavy, sour crude into semi-refined products that flow through 200 miles of pipeline to Conoco’s 128,000-barrel-a-day facility in Rodeo in the Bay Area, where it is turned into gasoline.

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Ratings agencies unfazed as county pension costs rise

By   /  Friday, October 25th, 2013  /  Banking & Finance, Central Coast, East Ventura County, South Coast, Top Stories, Tri-County Economy, West Ventura County  /  Comments Off on Ratings agencies unfazed as county pension costs rise

Despite dire warnings that future pension costs could cause a fiscal meltdown for tri-county governments, credit ratings for Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo county bonds remain mostly unaffected by looming gaps in their retirement obligation funding.

Standard & Poor’s, a leading rating agency, ranks all three counties near the top of a scale that spans from its highest AAA to C, the lowest rating a bond can have without defaulting. Santa Barbara County carries the agency’s second highest AA-plus designation. Ventura County is assigned a slightly lower AA-rating this year and SLO County is ranked AA-minus.

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First coffee, then the world: Teeccino breaks into breakfast market

By   /  Friday, October 18th, 2013  /  Features, Small Business, Women Inc.  /  Comments Off on First coffee, then the world: Teeccino breaks into breakfast market

Caroline MacDougall

After spending the past 18 years growing the leading coffee alternative product in the country, Carpinteria-based Teeccino is expanding into the fast-growing health foods market.

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Soda space race: Rocket Fizz goes national with franchising

By   /  Friday, October 11th, 2013  /  Features, Small Business  /  Comments Off on Soda space race: Rocket Fizz goes national with franchising

Ryan Morgan, left, and Robert Powells founded Camarillo-based Rocket Fizz six years ago. The novelty candy and soda company now has 54 franchised locations in 14 states.

Rocket Fizz founders Robert Powells and Ryan Morgan have built a nationwide soda-pop enterprise out of quirky novelty creations such as their best-selling bacon-flavored soda and glow-in-the-dark “Martian Poop” soda.

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Manufacturers hunt for talent amid shortage

By   /  Friday, October 4th, 2013  /  Central Coast, East Ventura County, South Coast, Technology, Top Stories, Tri-County Economy, West Ventura County  /  Comments Off on Manufacturers hunt for talent amid shortage

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