Downtown SLO is pleased to announce its 2020 Business Education Series  with quarterly sessions featuring dynamic speakers giving businesses and individuals the tools and inspiration to grow and better serve the community. Attendees will learn about different successful business practices, explore local tools and resources, and network with other business and community members. Downtown SLO is partnering with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) to help attendees apply the concepts they’ve learned to their own business and connect them with free tools to help them continue to grow and thrive.

The first session of the series is Friday, January 10, and focuses on hospitality and retention. This workshop is open to anyone interested in learning how to build a staff and customer base and keep them. The workshop will take place from 8 AM to 10 AM at the Downtown SLO office located at 1135 Chorro Street. Doors open at 7:45 AM. Breakfast treats and coffee will be available for attendees provided by Kreuzberg Coffee.

Speakers include Charles Babinski, a coffee legend, entrepreneur and the 2015 U.S. World Barista Champion. He’s worked in New York, Chicago, and in 2012, he opened G&B Coffee in downtown Los Angeles’s Grand Central Market (home of the Best Latte in the U.S., according to the New York Times). He’s also launched Go Get Em Tiger, with seven stores in the hippest neighborhoods in L.A. Attendees will learn about Charles’s journey growing his business while maintaining a down-to- earth attitude, without compromising quality. Go Get Em Tiger has a unique approach to retaining staff that has been written about in Forbes Magazine, and the business has a specific focus on education for coffee consumers and other baristas.

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Giving her local perspective, McCall Stone, retail store manager with The Sock Drawer, will share how the company has grown since 2007 and remains one of the largest online sock companies in the world. She will also share how the company recently became Great Place to Work (GPTW) Certified and how they operate a high traffic, Downtown location with an off site warehouse fulfilling website orders daily.

Tom Bruce, founder/president of Central Coast Food & Beverage Consulting will also be speaking on his experience as a 20-year veteran in the business and a coach for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). A question and answer session for guests will follow the speakers.

Registration is required and available on or on Eventbrite: Downtown SLO Business Education Series. All Downtown SLO Business Education Series sessions are free to Downtown SLO members and are available to attend as a guest for $15.

Attendees can share the event via Facebook.

Downtown SLO continues to serve its membership with this free education series, which is aimed at supporting the business community in Downtown San Luis Obispo. Future 2020 sessions include:

  • Design & Environment: Put Yourself in Your Customer’s Shoes: Design Thinking, Safety, and the Circular Economy
  • Marketing & Brand Management: Everyone’s a Critic: Managing Your Brand in the Age of Crowd Sourced Expertise
  • Grow Your Business: Find the Tools to Take Your Business to the Next Level.
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About Downtown SLO:

Downtown SLO is a 501 (c)(6) nonprofit founded in 1975 whose mission is to foster an economically vibrant Downtown. Downtown SLO serves the community by working on initiatives like parking and beautification efforts, coordinating special events and the weekly Farmers’ Market, supporting economic activities and examining Downtown issues.