As businesses leave SLO, economic leaders continue to find solutions

Posted at 11:41 PM, Jun 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-23 02:41:27-04

San Luis Obispo is facing challenges for its workforce ahead of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant closure.

Economic leaders are gearing up to handle the possibility of other businesses leaving and some that have already left.

Really Right Stuff, a local photography manufacturing company, is closing its doors and packing up this week to Utah.

Two others including gun manufacturer Weatherby has already moved and Lockheed Martin will shutter in July. 

Officials say it all comes down to affordability. With the decomissioning of Diablo Canyon, economic leaders are also now planning for the future.

Diablo is the county’s single largest private employer with an estimated $1 billion dollar impact to the local economy.

Economic Vitality Corporation has begun its analysis on what economic impacts Diablo’s closure will have on local businesses and the community.

It will then a plan to offset the closure’s negative impacts and diversify what drives the local economy. 

"I think it’s going to be something we’re going to look to and rely on for the next 10 or more years when it comes to implementing change," said Loreli Cappel, Senior Project Director for EVC. "And it really helps us diversify or portfolio and get away from one single largest employer and so we spread that across to be healthier and more stable and resilient."

Another issue facing local companies is the price of housing, something EVC is also working to help find solutions on with the city.

There is good news, EVC says several businesses have reached out to it expressing interest in coming to the Central Coast to expand operations.

Meanwhile, SB 1090 that would give SLO County $85 million in mitigation funds of the Diablo Canyon closure is headed for another hearing next Wednesday.