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Announcing the 2014 Spirit of Small Business winners

By   /  Friday, July 25th, 2014  /  Central Coast, East Ventura County, Green Coast, Small Business, South Coast, Top Stories, Tri-County Economy, West Ventura County, Women Inc.  /  No Comments

Mark Steller, owner of Old Town Market in Orcutt and this year’s North Santa Barbara County Spirit of Small Business award winner. (Nik Blaskovich photo)

The Pacific Coast Business Times is pleased to announce our 2014 class of Spirit of Small Business award winners. The annual special section, now in its 12th year, celebrates small-business ownership and entrepreneurship in the Tri-Counties.

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Keeping Score: Nonprofit business advisers celebrate 50 years

By   /  Friday, July 25th, 2014  /  Central Coast, East Ventura County, Small Business, South Coast, Top Stories, Tri-County Economy, West Ventura County  /  No Comments

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  The business-advice nonprofit Score just turned 50, but the advice it provides is ageless. The national organization is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and the San Luis Obispo branch is celebrating 30 years. For half a century, Score has provided free or low-cost mentoring and workshops to entrepreneurs and business owners around the […]

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Tracking trucks: ClearPathGPS offers fleet monitoring from the cloud

By   /  Friday, July 18th, 2014  /  Small Business, South Coast, Technology, Tri-County Economy  /  No Comments

Chris Fowler, left, and Steve Wells are two veteran software executives who founded Santa Barbara-based ClearPathGPS. The service allows owners of commercial vehicle fleets to track drivers, fuel usage, maintenance schedules and more. (Stephen Nellis / Business Times photo)

Two Santa Barbara software veterans have started ClearPathGPS to make that technology affordable and easy to use for fleets as small as five vehicles.

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A labor of leather: Craftsman adds artisan touch to family trade

By   /  Friday, July 11th, 2014  /  Small Business, South Coast, Top Stories, Tri-County Economy  /  No Comments

Steven Soria, a third-generation leather craftsman in Santa Barbara, launched Make Smith last year. The business makes purses, wallets, belts and home goods such as coasters and pot handles at a small shop on De La Guerra Street. (Nik Blaskovich / Business Times photo)

With the warm, heavy smell of leather in the air, Steven Soria sits in his single-room shop in downtown Santa Barbara amid work tables crowded with metal machinery and tools.

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Playing your cards right: How to pick a payment processing service

By   /  Friday, July 11th, 2014  /  Small Business, Technology, Tri-County Economy  /  No Comments

Cynthia Villalobos, a barista at Green Star Coffee in Santa Barbara, swipes a customer's card. An iPad makes up the business’ entire point-of-sales system, 
with the ShopKeep app tracking sales and cash payments and Square handling credit card processing. (Nik Blaskovich / Business Times photo)

The Business Times spoke with several retailers and merchant-processing services to find out what sorts of factors small-business owners should weigh when deciding on a point-of-sales system.

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American Dream, millennial edition: Young restaurateurs in Isla Vista

By   /  Friday, July 4th, 2014  /  Restaurants, Small Business, South Coast, Top Stories, Tri-County Economy  /  No Comments

Daniel Dunietz, left, owns Buddha Bowls in Isla Vista, while Sean Evans owns the Jimmy John’s restaurant next door. Both entrepreneurs are in their 20s and moved to the college town to start their own businesses. (Nik Blaskovich / Business Times photo)

Daniel Dunietz and Sean Evans, both in their 20s, enjoy a friendly rivalry as neighboring small-business owners in the student-dominated community of Isla Vista, next to UC Santa Barbara.

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Apeel blooms: Startup gets $1.3M to explore flower, produce coatings

By   /  Friday, July 4th, 2014  /  Agriculture, Small Business, South Coast, Technology, Tri-County Economy  /  No Comments

From left: Jenny Du, Kelsey Mollick, James Rogers and Louis Perez of Apeel Sciences, a UC Santa Barbara spinout that makes an edible, sprayable plant compound that can be applied to produce and flowers to keep them fresh longer. (Stephen Nellis / Business Times photo)

Apeel Sciences has raised $1.3 million and is working on a new product for flower growers to complement its existing efforts to prevent fruit and produce losses to pests and spoilage.

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