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Saturday, February 16 , 2019, 5:55 pm | A Few Clouds 57º


BizHawk: Fuel Economy, Emission Standards Topic of MIT Forum

Panel will discuss what federal mandates will mean for cities that aren't set up to embrace electric vehicles

What do the tighter fuel economy and emission standards for new cars sold in this country mean for consumers? That’s the topic of Sept. 19’s MIT Enterprise Forum event at the Cabrillo Pavillion Arts Center, 1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd.

Presenter David Raney, co-founder and CEO of Raney & Associates — and panelists Tyson Eckerle, executive director, Energy Independence Now, and Dr. Ichiro Sugioka from Volvo Cars — will discuss what the federal mandates for zero emissions vehicles will mean for cities that aren’t set up yet to embrace electric vehicles.

The City of Santa Barbara hailed the installation of two EV chargers in April at the Granada Garage. Chargers are available to drivers with a $2 hourly rate on top of standard city lot parking fees. Similar strategies are already imposed by other cities installing public charging stations, while others just charge for parking and get other agencies to pay for electricity.

But nationally, sales of EVs such as the Nissan Leaf have stalled. Is it because of the high price of adopting new technology or is it because most communities don’t have the infrastructure to accommodate large amounts of people charging their cars? The panel will debate that, along with other future fuels. This should go over well with the Prius-driving set in town.

Tickets for the event are $15 for students, $30 now or $40 at the door. Click here for details.

Matchmaker Wants to Fix Up Santa Barbara

This isn’t the “Millionaire Matchmaker’s” South Coast-spinoff, but without a show on Bravo, it’s about as close as it’s going to get.

Lisa Darsonval is an accountant who is putting singles in the area together with her new service, Santa Barbara Matchmaking, launched earlier this year. A longtime entrepreneur, Darsonval says the Santa Barbara area is flush with single people looking to be fixed up.

“There is no better feeling than knowing you’ve introduced two great people and then watching them fall in love,” she said. “My goal is not only to find my clients love, but to make sure the matchmaking process is easy, relaxing and maybe even fun.”

Darsonval, a single mother of three, says she hears women say there are no single men in the area. But, ironically, most of her clients are men, she says. Darsonval’s statistics also reveal the median age on the South Coast is 35, and says her clients are mostly between 30 and 50.

She equates a matchmaking service to hiring a real estate agent or stockbroker. Online dating doesn’t have the stigma it once did, especially now that more college-aged singles are using it to find serious relationships in between their busy work schedules.

With a heavy concentration of young people in Santa Barbara, and wealthy singles in Montecito, Darsonval looks like she has a strong chance to grow her business. And maybe be offered a reality show of her own.

Click here for more information on Darsonval’s matchmaking services.

Bristol Farms Wants More Acreage

It’s easy to forget Lazy Acres if you don’t drive by its Mesa location all the time, especially with the Whole Foods fanfare in the last couple of years.

And it’s not exactly the local company it was when Nick Searcy started it in 1991, since he sold his stake to high-end grocer Bristol Farms in 2005.

According to published reports, however, Bristol Farms is set to rebrand a Long Beach store with the Lazy Acres name. Even though the stores are similar in concept, the Lazy Acres moniker is ever-so-slightly more upscale than the more common Bristol Farms name that has 14 locations in Southern California.

This marks the first expansion of Lazy Acres, which means this homegrown brand could start popping up elsewhere in California.

To Blog or Not to Blog

Blogging isn’t just for teens and angry pundits without a syndicated column, it can be an effective self-marketing tool for entrepreneurs or people with a lot of information to share.

Lorrie Thomas of Web Marketing Therapy, and navigator of social media, will moderate the Sept. 12 Women in Communications panel, held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Antioch University in Santa Barbara, 602 Anacapa St.

The panelists are Hollye Jacobs of The Silver Pen, Mikki Reilly from Fitness Transform and Kymberly Williams Evans and Alexandra Williams, who run Fun & Fit.

They, along with Thomas, will discuss how to transform blogging into a paid assignment that can lead into increased marketing presence for a small business or jumpstart projects such as books. Santa Barbara is full of writers and I will take a guess many of them still dismiss blogging as something people just do for fun.

The event is free for AWC-SB members. Click here for more information and to register.

BizHawk is published each Friday and includes items of interest to the business community. Share your news by emailing items to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Noozhawk contributing writer Zac Estrada can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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