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Saturday, Sep 23, 2023

Valley Forum

Three and a half years after the Northridge earthquake, thousands of apartments, houses and other structures around the San Fernando Valley remain damaged from the temblor. Meanwhile, many San Fernando Valley businesses are doing much better than they were immediately after the quake. Taking those factors into consideration, the Business Journal Forum asks: Has the San Fernando Valley finally recovered from the quake? Scott Smith Executive Vice President and Director McKibben Communications Inc. Chatsworth Yes. Although there may be some infrastructure and housing repairs left undone, the Valley has come back and is stronger. Businesses such as ours were forced to make repairs and unscheduled upgrades. Richard Pocrass Chief Executive Officer Chocolates a la Carte Inc. Sylmar Unquestionably yes, especially in our case. In fact we’ve won awards for how well we’ve recovered. For instance, we got a new enrobing machine, which showers the confections in chocolate. The old one was crushed by a wall. I see a lot of other companies around which have the same story. Nancy Schmidt Vice President and Manager American Pacific State Bank Sherman Oaks No, not completely. We are certainly on the road to recovery, but there is a ways to go. There are still a lot of residential communities with townhomes and condominiums that need rebuilding, and that means that some businesses don’t have all their customers back. Joann Roth President Someone’s in the Kitchen Tarzana I would say yes. I don’t see the dead zones around town, and this sensibility of “no life and no hope” is very much diminished. I’m a luxury business and people don’t have catered parties unless they have something to celebrate. People didn’t celebrate for about three years and they are now. Carole Ozanian Big Valley Music If the question is whether every apartment has been repaired and every building rebuilt, the answer is absolutely not. The recovery of the earthquake and the recession has been very erratic. Business was very good for a year after the quake, and it’s been very up and down ever since, and I can’t make sense out of it. There certainly are signs of recovery.

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