The community of San Luis Obispo supports business growth and development within the city. It’s essential that all agencies that work together from the broader economic development in the county and the state as a whole can offer the best programs to help companies and small businesses to succeed. To help businesses in the SLO communities, we’ve created a comprehensive list of San Luis Obispo business resources to help entrepreneurs find what they need to grow their companies and continue supporting the community.
The Reality Of Business
On average, 18 percent of start-ups fail within the first year and up to 50 percent by year five; your business doesn’t have to be one of them. Federal and local business services are in place to serve as a liaison between private and public sectors, and small businesses need to be made aware of the services available.
Let’s explore the Central Coast business resources available.
REACH is a nonprofit economic impact organization that collaborates with leaders in business, technology, agriculture, and other critical sectors of a prosperous society to provide economic opportunities.
The agency assists women and minority-owned businesses, small businesses, and entrepreneurs in San Luis Obispo County.
Here are some of the services that REACH can connect you with to help your business succeed:
- Obtaining access to capital
- Guidance from business experts
- Opportunities for research
- Access to business workshops
- Technological resources
- Talent acquisition
- Key infrastructure resources
Mission Community Services Corporation
Small businesses and entrepreneurs alike will appreciate the dedication of MCSC in serving San Luis Obispo and surrounding counties.
MCSC provides special assistance to veterans, minorities, women, nonprofits, and low-income businesses through San Luis so that they can thrive and become self-sufficient.
As a resource for new and existing businesses that want to grow and boost their development, here’s what MCSC offers:
- Free business consultation
- Entrepreneurial training courses
- Monthly business workshops/webinars
- Technical assistance
The Score is a national nonprofit association focusing on entrepreneur education and the success of small business leaders. This organization has a chapter of 28 volunteers in San Luis Obispo County.
All services are free of charge for established companies and start-ups that need business assistance to help foster growth and success.
- Face-to-face mentoring sessions
- Email mentoring
- Phone mentoring
- Monthly workshops
- Follow-up sessions
- Confidential business counseling
Business and Entrepreneurship Center at Cuesta College
The Business & Entrepreneurship Center at Cuesta College, or the BEC, works diligently with nonprofit, public, and private small companies to offer the necessary support to ensure growth and sustained success in San Luis Obispo County.
BEC engages in research related to economic impacts and extends technical assistance (fee-based) to businesses within the region. If you need help figuring out how to obtain a loan through the Small Business Administration, this organization can help.
Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
New and existing businesses with a technology focus in San Luis can benefit from the services of the Cal Poly Center. This local resource offers consultation and guidance programs that are complimentary and insightful.
Therefore, if your company is interested in understanding how to attract capital investment opportunities, how to retain jobs, or other networking possibilities, reach out to the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Additionally, his organization can help you start a business, learn about COVID-19 resources available to your company, apply for SBA loans, and much more.
Family-Friendly Workplace Accelerator Program
With diversity and inclusion in mind, the Family-Friendly Workplace Accelerator Program seeks to uplift the San Luis community by extending policies allowing more parents to return to work.
Any small business that wants to attract a strong talent pool that includes those who don’t have the opportunity to work because of family obligations can sign up for these free resources from the San Luis Obispo Chamber.
Policies such as child care support, health spending accounts, flexible scheduling, and other initiatives can help restore the workforce and provide equal opportunities for all.
SLO Partners is an organization that can help your business find the talent in San Luis to thrive. A skilled workforce is necessary for any small company looking to grow and expand. Putting out a quality product or service ensures that you can consistently generate revenue.
Contact SLO Partners today to express your hiring needs so they can begin a fast-tracked skills “boot camp” to fill the positions as quickly as possible. This resource from the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education will assist you with building a solid and reliable base for your company.
LinkedIn is an excellent resource for a small business that wants all the information it can get to learn how to become successful. This platform allows business professionals to attend free virtual events, view free and valuable content, and participate in free online live streams, courses, and more.
LinkedIn offers diverse knowledge and networking capabilities that can benefit solo business owners at any level. By joining LinkedIn, entrepreneurs gain access to a wide range of industry experts and insights that can help them navigate the complexities of their respective fields.
Connect with others who can share the resources that have helped them. Discover agencies in San Luis that can point you in the right direction for capital investment, federal and local financial assistance, and more.
The community has these San Luis Obispo business resources to help you obtain or sustain success. From technical assistance to consultations and mentoring to training sessions, the city has something in place to support you.
Be mindful of programs with a focus, like REACH and MCSC, specifically assisting minority groups or Cal Poly Center, which fuels new tech companies. Applying for specialized assistance increases your chances of getting the right resources for your small business.
While most of these programs are free, other programs like BEC at Cuesta College are fee-based and may not be suitable for companies that still need a steady income stream. In general, federal resources may have more stringent criteria for approval, while the local resources on this list should be your priority.
Whatever stage of development your business is in, whether you’re a new business owner, an established but struggling start-up, or if you require additional means for growth, you’re in the right place.