Biz Buzz: Second location opened for Cole family

Despite tough times in the auto business, Cole Chrysler Dodge has opened a second location in downtown San Luis Obispo.

The dealership had previously occupied the site at 1371 Monterey St. — which the Cole family owns — and it returns there with the Cole Value Center.

It features a lineup of 20 to 30 vehicles catering to those who want less expensive cars and trucks, co-owner David Cole said.

“We’re basically focusing on the under $10,000 type of cars, which we feel there is a real need for right now,’’ Cole said.

The second location comes about four years after the Cole family opened its dealership and service center at Broad Street near Orcutt Road. While the auto industry is struggling, Cole said they believe the time is right for expansion and to be competitive in the lower-priced market.

“We’re trying to go for it,’’ said Cole, who recently hired about eight new employees between the two locations. “We’re tired of waiting for the economy to change, so we’re going to try to change it ourselves.”

— Julie Lynem

Tribune cuts one senior executive

The Tribune is reducing its top management structure due to continued economic pressure and a smaller staff.

Effective in late November, the vice president of advertising position will be eliminated. Duties that had been handled by Cheryl Cuming will be spread among others; details will be refined in the next few weeks.

“This is painful news for those of us who have valued working with Cheryl Cuming and have seen firsthand the depth of her creativity and passion,’’ said Publisher and President Bruce G. Ray.

“Cheryl has had many, many successes during her tenure here, including conceptualizing and launching countless revenue initiatives. She has also developed a top-notch sales team and a cadre of strong sales managers who are all highly focused on achieving goals while expertly serving our customers.”

While clearly this isn’t an ideal situation, Ray said, “We’re fortunate to have an incredible depth of talent throughout the advertising department and company.”

Like other newspapers nationwide, The Tribune has seen advertising revenues fall during the recession. It has downsized staff, mostly through attrition, and cut expenses such as newsprint.

“We are profitable but must continue to take steps to refine our business so that we emerge from the recession as strong as possible,” Ray said.

“Our mission remains the same: to provide the most comprehensive local news report and advertising portfolio in San Luis Obispo County in both print and online,” he added.

Cuming said she’s “deeply saddened to leave a job I love,” but is especially proud of The Tribune’s talented advertising managers, Terrie Banish, Jill LeMieux, Heather Hovde and Lori Haynes, “who will continue to lead our team of sales professionals in serving our business community.”

There are 22 employees in the advertising department. Cuming and her husband, Ed Cuming, plan to stay in the county, she said.

— Tribune staff report

Business workshop to serve veterans

Several local agencies have worked together to develop a business skills workshop for veterans next week.

The Veteran’s Entrepreneurship Opportunities Conference is set from 1 to 5 p.m. on Nov. 6 at the San Luis Obispo Veterans Memorial Building, 801 Grand Ave.

The free event, open to everyone, will include workshops covering topics such as access to capital, entrepreneurship, government contracting and franchise opportunities.

It will be presented by Mission Community Services Corporation, SCORE and the Economic Vitality Corporation of San Luis Obispo County. The Federal Technology Center of Sacramento, The Small Business Administration and the Internal Revenue Service will also be on hand to answer questions.

For information or to register, send an e-mail to or call 788-2687.

— Julia Hickey