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Funari leaves Business First for Bank of Santa Barbara

By   /  Friday, November 1st, 2013  /  Banking & Finance, Banking Industry, Latest news, South Coast  /  Comments Off on Funari leaves Business First for Bank of Santa Barbara

Longtime Santa Barbara banker Joanne Funari has stepped down from Business First Bank to join the Bank of Santa Barbara as chief operating officer.

Funari previously served as regional director and president of Business First, a division of Heritage Oaks Bancorp based in downtown Santa Barbara.

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Court launches bids for eight Nesbitt hotels

By   /  Friday, November 1st, 2013  /  Real Estate, South Coast, Top Stories, Tourism  /  Comments Off on Court launches bids for eight Nesbitt hotels

Montecito hotel magnate Pat Nesbitt could lose as many as half of his Embassy Suites properties under a recently approved bankruptcy reorganization plan.

Nesbitt and his company, Windsor Capital Group, parked a portfolio of eight Embassy Suites hotels in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, listing more than $100 million in debts, after being unable to work out a deal with his servicer, New York-based Torchlight Investors. Nesbitt’s Embassy Suites properties in Lompoc and San Luis Obispo were not involved in the case.

Court documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Santa Barbara indicate the eight hotels in the bankruptcy are now slated to go to the auction block.

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Treasury nets $3.2M loss on TARP in region

By   /  Friday, November 1st, 2013  /  Banking & Finance, Banking Industry, Top Stories, Tri-County Economy  /  Comments Off on Treasury nets $3.2M loss on TARP in region

As the last bank in the region exits the Troubled Asset Relief Program on the five-year anniversary of the federal aid program, the U.S. Treasury has recouped most of its investment in the Tri-Counties, taking a loss of $3.2 million on the $259.6 million it disbursed to area lenders.

By paying off $2.1 million in federal aid it received at the height of the financial crisis, Ojai Community Bank becomes the last of the region’s banks to exit TARP. All told, the U.S. Treasury received $256.4 million on the $259.6 million in aid it disbursed to nine banks in the Tri-Counties.

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With merger and TechPitch win, SLO’s startups are on the fast track

By   /  Friday, November 1st, 2013  /  Central Coast, Columns, Small Business, Technology  /  Comments Off on With merger and TechPitch win, SLO’s startups are on the fast track

In the past couple of weeks, Alex Minicucci has successfully merged his fast-growing mobile marketing company with a publicly traded firm out of Iowa. Meanwhile, an entrepreneurial emergency room doctor from Nipomo came up a with a brilliantly simple solution for holding an iPad one handed that swept the most comprehensive tech pitch night on the Central Coast to date.

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On a 40-year roll: P&G paper plants set to mark milestone in Oxnard

By   /  Friday, November 1st, 2013  /  Features, Top Stories, Tri-County Economy, West Ventura County  /  Comments Off on On a 40-year roll: P&G paper plants set to mark milestone in Oxnard

Procter & Gamble will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its Family Care Plant in Oxnard this month, a remarkable milestone when viewed against the decline in manufacturing jobs in California and across the nation. The Oxnard plant makes Bounty paper towels and Charmin toilet tissue in huge quantities that supply California and parts of the western U.S.

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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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Mindbody breaks ground on $20M campus in SLO tech corridor

By   /  Tuesday, October 29th, 2013  /  Central Coast, Latest news, Real Estate, Technology, Top Stories  /  Comments Off on Mindbody breaks ground on $20M campus in SLO tech corridor

San Luis Obispo is set to get its flagship high-tech campus as software company MindBody CEO Rick Stollmeyer and local officials broke ground Oct. 29 on a $20 million project including a new office building, four-story parking structure and promenade that will link with an existing facility, eventually boosting employment to 1,300 people.

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