California’s Central Coast — well-positioned between the state’s metro areas — is a place where you and your business can thrive.

Here, you’ll find a forward-looking economy that’s a clean energy hot spot, a leading frontier in the new Space Age, and a vibrant hub of technology, biotech, precision manufacturing and agtech.

Trailblazing startups

The region’s long-held pioneering spirit has given rise to a successful start-up scene. The $1.9B wellness platform Mindbody sprang from a San Luis Obispo garage. Sonos’ category-creating speakers were born in Santa Barbara. Jamba Juice is just one of many companies that began as a Cal Poly senior project. Santa Barbara’s Apeel Sciences is one of the hottest startups in foodtech, drawing high-profile investments.

Robust growth ecosystem

The region’s growth environment is buoyed by a robust network of startup and small-business support services, as well as two-world class universities and three workforce-focused community colleges.


Small business development centers and coworking spaces join university-affiliated incubators, institutes, pitch competitions and tech parks in advancing innovation.

Fast-growing capital market

That investment activity everyone associates with Silicon Valley? It’s happening here, too. The region’s companies racked up $900 million in 2021. 2020 saw 59 deals worth another $900 million, a 55% increase since 2015. Venture capital firms have set up shop and formed seed funds focused on the Central Coast.

Culture of collaboration

The region’s success stories and advantages are easy to tick off.


What stands out most, though, is harder to quantify: a culture where collaboration and quality of life are embraced as fundamental elements of success.

Plus all the advantages of a state that leads the nation in innovation

Tap wide-ranging state incentives, grants and financing assistance, from tax credits and utility discounts to loan guarantees and funds for upskilling your workforce


in access to venture capital funding


largest GDP in the world


in business starts

Competitive Costs

With competitive business costs and a central location with convenient access by land, air and sea, the Central Coast offers significant value for your business investment

Effective tax rates are lower than competitor states …

chart displaying California having the lowest state tax rates compared to Colorado, Arizona, Washington, Texas and Nevada



… with more of your tax dollars being reinvested in business


SOURCE: Ernst & Young LLP report
(October 2020)

chart displaying California having the highest cents per dollar reinvested in businesses compared to Colorado, Arizona, Washington, Texas and Nevada

San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County’s educated yet affordable workforce means payroll savings compared to most metro areas

Average annual wages in the Knowledge + Innovation sector


San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties




Bay Area

Dive into the data

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Business data

Explore industry clusters, major employers, competitors and customers.

Man with headset smiling and working at a computer


View detailed information to see what the Central Coast population and workforce can do for you.

screenshot of heat maps

Data mapping

Visualize demographic variables and GIS data crucial to growing your business on the Central Coast.


One region, many communities

The Central Coast encompasses two counties, 15 cities and dozens of unincorporated communities, each with its own distinct character and advantages. Get to know what each has to offer.

map of central coast communities