Pacific Coast Business Times Proudly serving Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties 2017-05-26T23:20:38Z https://www.pacbiztimes.com/feed/atom/ WordPress Staff Report <![CDATA[Community West Bank opening loan office in Paso Robles]]> https://www.pacbiztimes.com/?p=33898 2017-05-26T19:35:27Z 2017-05-26T19:35:27Z Read More →]]> Community West Bank announced on Friday that it plans to open a loan production office in Paso Robles.

The office, at 725 Creston Road, will open in June and will become Community West Bank’s first Paso Robles Office.

“Community West Bank continues to expand our business banking presence on California’s Central Coast,” said Martin Plourd, president and CEO. “Since opening a San Luis Obispo loan production office in 2015, and a full-service San Luis Obispo branch office last year, our bank has experienced significant growth. We feel that there is a real opportunity for Community West Bank to provide financing and responsive service to businesses throughout Northern San Luis Obispo County.”

The bank, led by Jason Bietz, senior vice president and regional market manager, will focus services on providing local businesses with term loans and lines of credit, commercial real estate and construction financing, agricultural loans and equipment financing, along with cash management services.

The expansion comes at a time of consolidation in the local banking industry. Only four locally owned banks remain in the region.

“The banking landscape is changing, with fewer community banks and larger banks closing offices,” said Bill Fillippin, executive vice president and chief banking officer for Community West Bank. “More than ever, there is a need for flexible business financing and decision making that locally owned Community West Bank provides.”

• Contact Joshua Molina at jmolina@pacbiztimes.com.

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Marissa Nall http://www.pacbiztimes.com <![CDATA[Startups selected for Cal Poly SLO HotHouse summer accelerator]]> https://www.pacbiztimes.com/?p=33895 2017-05-26T19:26:52Z 2017-05-26T19:26:52Z

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Marissa Nall http://www.pacbiztimes.com <![CDATA[Conference center needed in San Luis Obispo County]]> https://www.pacbiztimes.com/?p=33892 2017-05-26T19:27:29Z 2017-05-26T19:22:17Z

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Joshua Molina <![CDATA[Quixotic lawsuit targets Diablo Canyon closure]]> https://www.pacbiztimes.com/?p=33890 2017-05-26T19:12:51Z 2017-05-26T19:12:51Z

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Henry Dubroff <![CDATA[Our view: Cal Poly’s prominence grows but there is a cost]]> https://www.pacbiztimes.com/?p=33888 2017-05-26T19:05:59Z 2017-05-26T19:05:59Z Read More →]]> The Frost family’s $110 million gift to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is the ultimate validation of former President Warren Baker’s vision of Cal Poly as a leading research institution within the California State University system.

It also validates current President Jeffrey Armstrong’s decision to double-down on entrepreneurship, forging close connections with the SLO business community to merge the startup culture with the amenities that SLO offers.

This is an amazing success that will turn a city known as the happiest on earth into a marketplace for new ideas and new technology.

But it also comes with a price. As Cal Poly’s stature grows statewide, nationally and even internationally, the options for North Santa Barbara County and SLO County high school and community college graduates decline. More competition will keep many from attending Cal Poly.

The nearest other California State University campuses are at Seaside, Fresno, Bakersfield and Channel Islands — all are at least 100 miles away.

Attending one of those schools means moving away from home, something that’s a nonstarter for sons and daughters of families that own small businesses or for people who must work full time to pay for their education.

We recognize that not everybody needs a college degree; certificate programs will suffice for many who are in technical and paraprofessional occupations.

But today there are more than 500,000 people in our region — roughly one-third the population of the Tri-Counties — who do not have access to a CSU campus.

South Santa Barbara County has solved a piece of the puzzle by co-locating some of CSU Channel Islands undergraduate degree programs on the Santa Barbara City College campus and through a nursing program with Cottage Health. Cuesta College has teamed up with CSU Monterey Bay to offer a nursing degree.

But for Cuesta and Allan Hancock college students, for employees at municipal and county governments whose next promotion requires an undergraduate degree and for employees at the Chumash Casino, Hardy Diagnostics and other institutions, there is no easy path to advancement.

Not so very long ago, high school and community college graduates from Moorpark to Morro Bay could get into Cal Poly if they had decent grades and test scores.

We would encourage the CSU system to look closely at options for providing undergraduate education to this very much underserved population. And we’d encourage major employers, local governments and area foundations to think about how to provide funding for such a program.

MEMORIAL DAY RESPITE

The latest revelations from Washington have become all-consuming for the media and the political class.

And there’s no doubt the drama over Russian intervention in the election, leaks and firings will go on through the summer. But we should remember that this is how democracy works and use Memorial Day to reflect on that.

Democrats need to remember that every presidential misstep is not an impeachable offense and they need to regain control of Congress to be relevant. Republicans who want to lock up the leakers should first look in the mirror and imagine how Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson would have looked in orange jumpsuits.

We fought a revolutionary war, a civil war and two world wars to preserve our democratic institutions, our free enterprise system and the free press. Yes, it is messy. But is it the best available system among many dismal alternatives.

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Joshua Molina <![CDATA[Building supply store leases space in Thousand Oaks]]> https://www.pacbiztimes.com/?p=33886 2017-05-26T19:00:59Z 2017-05-26T19:00:59Z

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Guest commentary <![CDATA[Pharmaceuticals on path to sustainability]]> https://www.pacbiztimes.com/?p=33884 2017-05-26T18:54:36Z 2017-05-26T18:54:36Z Read More →]]>

Valeria Makarova

By Valeria Makarova

Since the concept of sustainable development was introduced back in the 1980s, corporations from various industries have been dealing with ever-increasing pressure to address stakeholder social needs and their environmental footprints. The traditional “business as usual” model — pursuing the business imperative goal of profit maximization while ignoring negative social and environmental consequences — has been subjected to a rising tide of criticism.

Those sectors that have higher ecological and/or social impacts are held to higher standards in the public eye. The tension existing between corporate interests and societal needs is especially prominent in the case of Big Pharma. Pharmaceutical corporations have been criticized for many wrongdoings, including maintaining excessively high prices for essential lifesaving drugs, engaging in immoral marketing practices and failing to provide adequate services to large groups of people, especially in poor countries.

Former Pfizer CEO Henry McKinnell summarized the unique ethical dilemma and industry challenge as follows: “Because we have the ability to help in so many ways, we have a moral imperative to do so.” This moral mandate has a deep impact on the Big Pharma business model and stakeholder relations. Today, a combination of ever-tightening regulations, fierce competition, rising costs and public pressure all challenge global pharmaceutical companies to take sustainability very seriously.

Pharmaceutical products manufactured on a very large scale involve many extraordinarily complex chemical processes with a large potential impact on the environment.

The disposal of intermediate compounds and manufacturing products along the entire supply chain must be considered. Another factor of vital importance is the public health issues related to drug safety for people.

Government agencies play the key role in issuing and enforcing regulations aimed at public safety. Though all of their activities are highly regulated, pharmaceutical companies started taking steps beyond mere compliance to address environmental issues by exploring “green chemistry” in drug development. They also introduced internal sustainability policies, hired associates designated to manage green chemistry and other environmental initiatives, and started reporting on generated waste and water and energy usage related to all aspects of activities on their websites.

Addressing social issues, however, is the most critical challenge for the pharmaceutical sector. Targeting new underserved markets, as well as developing solutions for the patients who would benefit the most, are strategic ways to demonstrate a firm’s social commitment. Some large pharmaceutical companies started to voluntarily engage in corporate social responsibility practices by developing drugs for neglected diseases, considering production of essential drugs in developing countries and introducing differential pricing, i.e., reduced pricing for selected essential drugs used against poverty-related and tropical diseases. In developed countries, there are also several important areas where the health care burden is very high and innovative drugs would make critical difference.

Developing these much-needed solutions isn’t an easy road. The timeline for discovery of new drugs is very long and it takes an average of about 250 research projects to develop a single viable commercial product. Managing ever-increasing costs of the new drug development process is also a challenge. The pharmaceutical industry started to explore business approaches beyond charitable activities for addressing the tension between firms’ financial goals and societal expectations. However, building the business case for sustainability is a difficult task that requires taking into account industry- and company-specific challenges in order to formulate a successful strategy that will achieve both a positive impact on society and improved competitiveness for the company.

• Valeria Makarova is an assistant professor in the School of Management at California Lutheran University.

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