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Sweet success: Region’s candy firms expand

By   /  Monday, November 8th, 2010  /  Features, Small Business  /  Comments Off on Sweet success: Region’s candy firms expand

The shelves at Kingston’s Candy Co. are stacked with enough Pixy Stix, Gummi Bears, Abba Zabbas, Moon Pies, bubblegum, Smarties and chocolate bars to make Willy Wonka himself proud. “Nine months ago I was in the corporate world, and here I am having fun in candy land,” owner Sarah Jaimes says from behind a center Read More →

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SBA-backed deals are propping up commercial real estate market

By   /  Monday, October 25th, 2010  /  Columns, Real Estate, Small Business  /  Comments Off on SBA-backed deals are propping up commercial real estate market

Small businesses are starting to look like the heroes in the commercial real estate market’s turnaround tale. Businesses buying property for their own use, also known as owner-users, have fueled a number of deals in the Tri-Counties recently, many of them aided by financing through U.S. Small Business Administration lending programs. In Oxnard, Industrial Park Read More →

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Dialing up success: Firestone leads Tempest Telecom to clear skies

By   /  Monday, October 11th, 2010  /  Small Business, Women Inc.  /  Comments Off on Dialing up success: Firestone leads Tempest Telecom to clear skies

Jessica Firestone has built a business by making sure that your e-mails, text messages and phone calls get where they’re supposed to be going, and fast. In five years, Firestone has grown Goleta-based Tempest Telecom Solutions from a four-person startup to a 100-employee firm with operations across the country. Tempest pulls in about $30 million Read More →

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Guitar man: High-end instruments, made in Oxnard

By   /  Monday, October 11th, 2010  /  Features, Small Business  /  Comments Off on Guitar man: High-end instruments, made in Oxnard

The first things you notice when you meet Jean Larrivée, the founder of high-end guitar maker Jean Larrivée Guitars, aren’t the test instruments leaning against the wall of his office, the tool chest in the corner or the small bottles of wood stain that dot the windowsill. It’s the giant red banners bearing Cyrillic script, Read More →

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All grown up: These SLO entrepreneurs have come a long way

By   /  Monday, September 27th, 2010  /  Features, Small Business  /  Comments Off on All grown up: These SLO entrepreneurs have come a long way

San Luis Obispo’s startups are growing up fast. Thirteen years ago, two San Luis Obispo high school students started their own company because they couldn’t find part-time jobs to fit their busy student-athlete schedules. That business, Meathead Movers, has since grown into a flourishing moving and storage empire that helps some 180 college students put Read More →

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Climbing through the clouds: Jeep tour business grows in region's wine hotspots

By   /  Monday, September 13th, 2010  /  Small Business  /  Comments Off on Climbing through the clouds: Jeep tour business grows in region's wine hotspots

Cloud Climber Jeeps was one of the first wine country tour companies in Santa Barbara and the Santa Ynez Valley. Now it’s hoping to blaze the trail in Ojai and Paso Robles, too. The company, founded in 1999 by Dave and Sybil DeMauro, offers back-country and wine tours, taking upwards of 5,000 people a year Read More →

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Melton

By   /  Monday, August 30th, 2010  /  Small Business  /  Comments Off on Melton

Mark Melton has grown his cleaning business into a tidy little tri-county empire over the past decade, sweeping in $19.8 million in revenue last year. Carpinteria-based Melton Franchise Systems, a master franchisor for Coverall Health Based Cleaning Systems and owner of the Molly Maid business in the region, made the No. 19 spot on the Read More →

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