Manufacturing company will leave SLO for Utah; owner cites costs

Posted at 10:53 PM, Jun 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-16 01:53:02-04

Another company is packing its bags and leaving San Luis Obispo.

Really Right Stuff, a photography equipment manufacturing company, opened its doors more than two decades ago and called south San Luis Obispo home for the past five years.

Owner and CEO Joseph Johnson Sr. says rising costs for both the company and his employees have forced him to leave. Next week, Really Right Stuff will move to Lehi, Utah, 30 minutes south of Salt Lake City.

The company specializes in camera heads and tripods. It is also breaking into the gun industry by manufacturing tripods for long-range rifles.

In a blog post to its website, Really Right Stuff says it will move into a building that is two-and-a-half times bigger and will "enable continued growth and allow RRS to better serve its customers."

“Continually rising costs in California make it tough for a small business to compete in the global economy," Johnson Sr. stated in the post. "We love beautiful San Luis Obispo, but our employees can’t afford to buy a home. The business-friendly environment and low cost of living in Lehi, Utah made it a clear choice for us to best serve our customers and employees long-term. I’m happy to see most of our employees coming with us, keeping our RRS family largely intact.”

Johnson Sr. appealed to the state for its plans to expand with the help of the Cal Competes income tax credit. GO-Biz denied Really Right Stuff’s application.

"You want to have businesses to give jobs to your constituents. Don’t drive them away with higher taxes, don’t burden them with regulations and consider all aspects of the decision that you’re making."

Sixteen employees — roughly half of the current staff — will transfer to the new location.

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