Biz Buzz: Coast National Bank enters agreement

Coast National Bank, a San Luis Obispo-based community bank, has entered into a formal agreement with federal regulators designed to strengthen its financial performance.

The consent order — issued in early February by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency — outlines specific requirements that the bank must meet to restore earnings, improve asset quality and provide for adequate capital and liquidity.

The bank was given 60 days to develop a written revised strategic plan, covering a three-year period, outlining how it will meet its goals. “Everything in the order is being done, and whenever there was a timeline or deadline, we are submitting the information within that timeline or we are working with our regulators to ask for an extension,” said Gwen Pelfrey, president of the bank.

Pelfrey said the bank submits monthly updates to regulators, and that “it is very much business as usual.” Pelfrey said the bank is looking to bring in about $5 million in new capital to comply with regulatory requirements, and that its capital will show improvement in its first-quarter earnings report to be released later this month.

“A lot of points that are listed there (in the consent order) are what all banks need to focus on in this economy,” she said. “So, we’re presenting our strategic and capital plan, and ensuring our loan policy is correct for this economic time, and we are watching our credit risk.”

Pelfrey added that the bank, which for the past 11 years has had the greatest number of Small Business Administration loans in the Fresno district serving 15 counties in Central California, is continuing to provide loans, including construction loans. Later this year, it plans to begin entertaining requests for new loans, she said.

Coast National Bank, an FDIC-insured institution, had $140 million in assets in the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31. It posted a net loss of $4.6 million in the fourth quarter of last year, compared with a $4.9 million net loss in the year-earlier period.

Founded in 1997 by a group of local business professionals, Coast National Bank, headquartered in San Luis Obispo, has branches in Arroyo Grande, Morro Bay, Los Osos and Paso Robles.

— Julie Lynem

The SLO Downtown Association recently awarded beautification awards to more than two dozen businesses for physical or aesthetic improvements last year.

The Mayor’s Award, or “Best of Show,” went to Beverly Horn Maytag, proprietor of the historic Clara Motz Sauer Building on the 700 block of Higuera Street.

Other top awards were presented to the SLO County Bicycle Coalition and the Box Art project, a collaboration between the city and the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association to commission artists to paint utility boxes.

Jurors were Marshall Ochylski, Landy Fike, Bob Seeley, Pam Seeley, Jackie Crane, Lynn Hessler, Bruce Fraser and Brent Vanderhoof. (Fike is an advertising sales representative at The Tribune.)

Other recipients include:

For remodeling improvements: Pithy Little Wine Co., Mama’s Meatball, SLO Brewing Co., EcoBambino and Ian Saude Gallery.

For new tenant improvements: Muzio’s Grocery & Deli and HepKat Clothing & Beauty Parlor.

For facade improvements: Cloud Star Corp.

For signage: Beverly’s Fabric & Crafts and Dr. Cain’s Comics & Games.

For merchandising: Creeky Tiki Island Grill, Chipotle Mexican Grill, The Novel Experience, A French Touch Parisian Skincare Salon, Bloom, Luna Red, Surroundings, Turn to Nature, Central Coast Wines, Copeland Properties and Kreuzberg, Ca.

For maintenance: Simply MaMa, Bambu Batu, Fat Cat’s Café, Infin8 Beauty, Mee Heng Low Noodle House and Amnesia.

For community art murals: San Luis Art Supply and Kreuzberg, Ca.

For more details and photos of the businesses, visit

— Julia Hickey