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What’s the economic situation like for business owners in the Conejo Valley?

Caroline Feraday
What's the economic situation like for business-owners in the Conejo Valley?

We’ve been hit by gas prices, rising inflation and there’s talk of a recession.

It’s an opportunity to figure out how the region’s economy is performing. The Regional Economic Forecast brings together industry leaders and experts in the Conejo Valley.

"Ventura County's economic picture is complex," explained Dr. Matthew Fienup, the Executive Director of the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting (CERF) at California Lutheran University.

"There's really three chapters. There's a decade prior to the pandemic of prolonged economic weakness. There's the pandemic itself where the county did very well on account of excellent policy making," he said.

"And now there's the recovery...we've returned to that underlying weakness that existed before and now Ventura County is lagging behind its neighbors," said Fienup.

However, Dr. Fienup said that despite a couple of challenging years ahead, the long-term forecast is bright when looking ten years ahead.

Sean Harper is the founding managing partner, Westlake Village BioPartners and points to the biotech industry’s significance to the Conejo Valley.

"This region is exciting from a biotech hub perspective and that makes this area, in addition to what a lovely place it is to live, very attractive," said Harper.

Affordable housing is one challenge being addressed at this conference, especially when it comes to attracting workers to the region.

For businesses in the region, there’s optimism. Melissa Miller is the community partnerships manager for Ventura Credit Union.

"It's great to see our community coming together to find solutions to our housing, to our water, to our homeless population," she said.

"I know we have some hard times ahead but I think that we will get there because of the trajectory we are on," said Miller.

Caroline joined KCLU in October 2020. She won LA Press Club's Audio Journalist of the Year Award in 2022.

Since joining the station she's won 7 Golden Mike Awards, 4 Los Angeles Press Club Awards and 2 National Arts & Entertainment Awards.

She started her broadcasting career in the UK, in both radio and television for BBC News, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism in 2007.

She has lived in California for ten years and is both an American and British citizen - and a very proud mom to her daughter, Elsie.