Biz Briefs

Dec. 11, 2014 Business News and Announcements—Compiled by Camas Frank

San Luis Obispo has snagged a title on yet another list, this time making it onto “America’s best college towns by Travel + Leisure Magazine.” The November issue of the publication talked about SLO’s Farmers’ Market, open space assets and attractions such as the Sunset Drive-In. The rankings are based on readers’ responses to the publication’s most recent America’s Favorite Places survey in which San Luis Obispo got high marks for being “just far enough from L.A. to give it a calm vibe, further enriched by the easy access to vineyards and dune-covered beaches.”

The SLO Chamber welcomed new member, Econcept Marketing Solutions with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The team at Econcept Marketing solutions will work with Yelp, Healthgrades, UrbanSpoon, and over 100 “reputation” websites to help businesses achieve a five star reputation. After building up a business’ reputation, they market a positive image. They can also help upgrade business websites and to make them mobile. For more information see:

Big Brothers Big Sisters announced a partnership with Create Promotions for local events, including the Winter WonderSLO Jiffy Lube Ice Rink and Bubblyfest By The Sea, to benefit the local charity. Holly Holliday, owner of Create Promotions and Big Brothers Big Sisters board member presented a check for $1,000 raised during the By The Sea event. Holliday said, “I feel extremely fortunate to be able to serve as a Big Brothers Big Sisters board member and give back to their amazing program through Create Promotion’s events.”

SLO based Verdin Marketing recently won five 2014 MarCom Awards, for excellence within the marketing, advertising and communications fields. The MarCom Awards are international competitions for marketing and communications professionals, with Verdin receiving one Platinum Award, three Gold Awards and one Honorable Mention. “Our team works incredibly hard to produce the very best design, marketing and PR strategies for our clients every year. The 2014 MarCom Awards allow us to reflect on those accomplishments and honor the commitment and creativity we put into our work,” said Verdin Marketing’s president Mary Verdin.

Pacific Eye celebrated its 10-year anniversary with $10,000 in total contributions to local non-profit organizations, through the Pacific Eye Gives Back Challenge. Thousands of supporters from around the Central Coast participated in the contest throughout October and November. Community members cast over 15,000 votes with the top-three organizations securing the largest donations. Court Appointed Special Advocates of San Luis Obispo (CASA) secured the $5,000 first-place donation in the contest with 5,382 votes. The organization advocates for the best interests of abused and neglected children within the court system with the goal of ensuring that each and every child grows up in a safe, nurturing, and permanent home. With Pacific Eye’s donation, CASA intends to recruit, train, and supervise more volunteers who will be able to advocate for this vulnerable population.

The Cuesta College Paramedic Program is accepting applications now for the Fall 2015 class. The program is three semesters and is held on Cuesta’s Hwy 1 Campus. The program prepares graduates to take the “Paramedic National Registry Licensure Exam,” leading to getting licensed as a California paramedic. The program begins Aug. 17, 2015, and applications will be accepted through July 31. All applications are evaluated for admission in the order they are received, with admission granted on a space available basis. Additional Paramedic Program information is on the Cuesta website at: or call 546-3100 Ext. 2798.

The SLO Downtown Association announced the winners of its annual Holiday Window Decorating Contest for the 2014 season. Each year, several Downtown businesses vie for the most eye-catching displays by decorating their storefront windows with creative and inspiring designs. Hoping to gain customers’ attention — and perhaps win a prize — business owners go all out in this fun competition. The contest is also held online to include a People’s Choice Award and as always, gives honors for First, Second and Third Place and Best in Theme, this year “Hula Holiday.” First Place pictured here went to Ambiance.
Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong joined President Obama, the First Lady, Vice President Joe Biden and hundreds of other university presidents and higher education leaders last week to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college. The “White House College Opportunity Day of Action” helped support President Obama’s initiative to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to support students across the country. Participants were asked to commit to new actions relating to: building networks of colleges focused on promoting completion; creating K-16 partnerships around college readiness; investing in high school counselors; and increasing the number of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The SLO Chamber also held a ribbon cutting ceremony last week for Central Coast Archery. “Our family is excited to bring a fully stocked, professionally operated retail archery store and indoor shooting range to the community on the Central Coast,” store owner Scott Wilson said. “We have been involved in the archery industry for nearly 25 years and now look forward to sharing our passion and love of the sport with you. So even if you have never wrapped your fingers around a bow string and loosed an arrow, or are interested in advancing your competitive skills, or pursuing the trophy of a lifetime, we are here to help.” For more information see: