February 23, 2024
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Our view: Storms move in with risks and benefits


For the second time this winter, the region is bracing for heavy rains – a double-edged sword for business and the economy.

For many companies, rain and flooding represent dangerous threats, as we found out in late December when flooding along the Ventura County coast triggered $30 million in damage at the Port of Hueneme, which lost its dockside power system. 

Restaurants and other businesses located along the shoreline also suffered damage.

At the Business Times, we take seriously our role in helping businesses and nonprofits navigate their way through disaster. 

Our Emergency Preparedness Guide focuses specifically on smaller companies and philanthropic endeavors and it is available in a downloadable format free of charge at https://www.pacbiztimes.com/emergency-preparedness/

The upside to winter storms, as we have stated, is that in an era of climate change, wet months are a lifeline to prosperity. 

If the region experiences its second rainy winter in a row, the benefits to its reservoirs, groundwater supplies, and agriculture far outweigh all but the most catastrophic flooding. 

Across the western United States, drought conditions have been re-emerging and along the Central Coast, groundwater basins are still operating in deficit conditions.  The giant reservoirs on the Colorado River remain at catastrophically low levels and even a second year of heavy rain will provide only a small amount of relief. 

More needs to be done to allow Central Coast water agencies to capture and recycle excess runoff. But for now, we cross our fingers that flooding will be minor and look to the longer-term benefits of a February miracle that promises to erase snowpack deficits in the Sierras and refill reservoirs on the Central Coast.


As we begin Black History Month, Byron Ward and his Central Coast Minority Enterprise Resource Associates Awards Gala are recognizing some members of the Business Times community.

Among them is Jonathan Davis of J. Davis Construction, a former Spirit of Small Business Winner and successful contractor. 

Also on the list are Travis Mack of Saalex, a multiple recipient of Business Times hardware and CSU Channel Islands and its president, Richard Yao. Both Mack and Yao are among the Business Times’ Top 50 Most Influential people in the region; the full list will be unveiled in our print edition on Feb. 9. 

Also being honored are Don and LaRita Montgomery,  Suzanne Fussell, M.D., Guy Walker of Wealth Management Strategies, Ella Williams of Aegir Systems and graphic designer Kelcey  Newman.

The awards program is on Feb. 3 at the Courtyard by Marriott at the Financial Plaza in Oxnard. You can find out more via email to bward@ccmera.org.

Congrats to the honorees.