Biz Buzz: Morro Bay Chamber CEO to step down after 4 years

Peter Candela is stepping down as CEO of the Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce. He has worked as the chamber’s leader since April 2006.

During Candela’s time, the Morro Bay chamber built a strong relationship with the Small Business Administration by bringing educational programs to local businesses; doubled membership to more than 500 from 238 members; increased the organization’s presence on the Web; coordinated 20 new and established events; doubled the vendors at Morro Bay’s farmers market; and worked with city business and government leaders to promote commerce and tourism.

Candela told The Tribune on Tuesday that his resignation is voluntary, and he felt he had accomplished what he considered his five-year plan in the four years he spent at the chamber’s helm.

His last day will be sometime in August, although the exact day is still to be determined, he said.

Candela’s goals included developing business in what turned out to be an all-consuming job, and “now it’s time to go.”

He intends to continue to work in business development, but he said he had nothing specific he could announce at this point.

Candela’s recommendations for development in Morro Bay included building more events, tours and other attractions to the city.

“We need something to drive people here to see what we have,” Candela said. “Obviously, we have our environmental assets, and they’re second to none.”

Chamber board President Stuart McElhinney said, “The chamber board was saddened to receive Mr. Candela’s resignation but supports his decision. He has provided excellent service in his role, and we wish him the best with his future endeavors.”

Don Doubledee will be the interim CEO until someone is hired permanently, according to a Morro Bay chamber statement.

— Melanie Cleveland

A.G. gives In-N-Out building permit

Arroyo Grande building officials issued In-N-Out Burger a building permit  Tuesday, allowing the restaurant to be built in the Five Cities Center as soon as debris from the former Sizzler eatery, demolished last week, is hauled away.

The site at 1170 W. Branch St. could be cleared by early next week, said city Building Official John Hurst, making way for the 3,265-square-foot In-N-Out Burger that would include an outdoor patio area with 10 tables.

The city Planning Commission approved the project in December. The drive-through restaurant includes a 1,990-square-foot area accessible to the public and 1,275 square feet for food preparation and employee use.

Hurst expects the restaurant to open by the end of the year.

— Cynthia Lambert

Tech company to service Taiwan

Strasbaugh, a San Luis Obispo-based high-tech company, announced Tuesday that Taiwan-based technical support firm E-Dot Technology will service customers based in that country.

The deal is expected to help both firms better support the growing device and chip wafer manufacturing in the Asian country.

— Tribune staff report