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Santa Maria hot spot for high-tech startups

Santa Maria and Santa Barbara are listed as top spots in the country for future high-tech, startup companies according to a recent national survey by Connecticut-based IT firm RightClick.

MindBody is a rapidly growing software company that focuses on personal wellness and healthcare applications.

The San Luis Obispo-based company is expanding its Santa Maria operations to meet the demands of its growing customer base and workforce.

Santa Maria is listed, along with Santa Barbara, in a recent national survey by IT firm RightClick as one of the top locations in the country for future high-tech startups.

“Its always nice when other people recognize what we already know”, says Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO Glenn Morris, “we have a great community and its a great place to live and work.”

Morris says Santa Maria and Santa Barbara share key data points in the survey.

“Data points that they were talking about, access to the world-class education at UCSB, Cal Poly, Hancock College, we’re really blessed with education here at the higher end level”, Morris says, “we have a good workforce that is growing, that has technical skills, in our light manufacturing area.”

Morris points out Santa Maria holds the edge over Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo when it comes to available and affordable workforce housing.

“This is a community that wants new housing, we’re still building, there are developers putting new communities in our town on a regular basis”, Morris says, “in terms of housing and workforce housing, Santa Maria is in a good spot, no one is going to say its cheap to live here, but when you put it in context with the communities that we compete with up and down the coast, the pricing becomes relatively affordable.”

Other key data points in the RightClick survey include proximity of Santa Maria and Santa Barbara to the tech hubs in the Bay Area and in southern California as well as the climate and overall quality of life.

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