A Weekly Newsletter Promoting Monterey County:
Open for Business

Friday, Jan. 20, 2023

Edition 964

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County announces temporary one-stop center to provide disaster assistance resources

Monterey County officials on Thursday announced plans to open a temporary physical one-stop center for disaster assistance programs. At a press conference Thursday, County Administrative Officer Sonia M. De La Rosa announced plans to open a local assistance center that will offer information and resources for both businesses and individuals affected by the winter storms. 

The center will be located at the Veterans Memorial Hall, 90 Fifth St., in Spreckels. and will open this Saturday, Jan. 20 and remain open through Thursday, Jan. 26, with hours from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Watch the press conference

Monterey County storm damage exceeds $30 million; ag industry losses could reach $50 million

A preliminary assessment of losses incurred since the statewide onslaught of repeated wind and rain began in late December sets damage estimate of at least $30 million in public infrastructure damages, according to Monterey County officials. That estimate includes any harm or impact to roads and bridges, water control facilities, public buildings and equipment, public utilities and parks and recreation, as well as county storm management from debris removal to emergency protective services.

Deep impacts on regional ag industry

Initial estimates suggest the region's agricultural industry suffered losses of no less than $40 to $50 million after a swollen Salinas River spilled onto thousands of acres of nearby ag fields last week. Though most of the Salinas Valley farmland is not currently in production, with the local growing season not set to begin until February, widespread flooding left farmers with a different – and costly – challenge: battered infrastructure in need of repair.

Norm Groot, executive director of the Monterey County Farm Bureau, said early estimates of losses cover anything from wellheads that have come under water and breached levees to damaged farming equipment and impaired irrigation lines. The true magnitude of loss for the county’s agricultural industry will not be known until flood waters recede and ag leaders can look beyond an immediate concern of just saving farms, Groot said.

Other anticipated consequences could include delays to the incoming growing season. Many fields will have to go through a protocol of testing for pathogens in both water and soil to ensure it is cleared for planting, Groot said. 

“There’s the scheduling issues, but also operational costs. …Farm employees aren’t earning an income because they don’t have work. That’s been affecting farm workers, as well as employees in processing facilities for the last week,” Groot said. Read more
Source: Monterey County Herald

Monterey County's addition to major disaster designation opens doors to federal assistance

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has added Monterey County to the major disaster declaration President Joe Biden approved on Jan. 14, opening open federal assistance to people and businesses affected by a series of atmospheric river storms that hit California.

Storm victims can apply for assistance if their home or business sustained storm-related damage. Assistance includes grants, low-cost loans or other programs. Storm victims can apply online at, call FEMA at 800-621-3362 or download the FEMA app.
Read more
Source: KSBW

California businesses impacted by storms are now eligible for emergency tax relief

Business owners and taxpayers impacted by California’s winter storms are now eligible for emergency tax relief from late payment interest and penalties, according to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

Small business owners affected by flooding, power outages, and other storm-related hardships may request up to an additional three months to file their tax returns. Taxpayers who face return deadlines between Jan. 4 and Jan. 31, 2023 who are granted relief will not have to pay interest and penalties if they are unable to file their returns and pay taxes and fees by the original due date. Learn more

Federal appropriations bill earmarks $1 million for highway project in Salinas

The Federal Highway Administration has earmarked $1 million for the “US 101 Auxiliary Lane – South of Salinas” project. 

The earmark, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta and Sen. Alex Padilla, is included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2023, which President Biden signed last week.

“We are grateful to Congressman Panetta and Sen. Padilla for their support to secure this funding to extend the US 101 northbound acceleration lane at Spence Road,” said Transportation Agency for Monterey County (MCBC member) Executive Director Todd Muck. “… We now have the full funding needed to start construction in 2023. The project is expected to be completed in 2024 and will improve safety along one of the primary routes that connects Northern and Southern California.”

The acceleration lane is an initial safety improvement in the overall “US 101 South of Salinas” project, which proposes to address safety concerns and improve traffic flow along 5.5 miles of Highway 101, from Airport Boulevard to the Main Street over-crossing in Chualar. The auxiliary lane will provide space for trucks to safely accelerate from Spence Road onto Highway 101 and provide a deceleration lane for traffic exiting to Eckhardt Road. Read more
Source: King City Rustler

Caltrain layover facility to be built adjacent to Intermodal Transportation Center in Salinas

Another component of the Monterey County Rail Extension project is on track to becoming reality as the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (MCBC member) continues acquiring properties necessary to house a Caltrain layover facility.

The Monterey County Rail Extension project intends to extend passenger rail service on Caltrain, a commuter rail line, from Santa Clara County south to Salinas, provide an alternative to traveling on Highway 101, access to San Jose and San Francisco, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote economic development, among other outcomes. Caltrain currently travels as far south as Gilroy.

The Salinas Train Layover Facility project is package two of the Monterey County Rail Extension effort in Salinas.

Package one, completed in 2021 and costing an estimated $11.2 million, consisted of improvements to the existing Salinas train depot to become the Intermodal Transportation Center with renovations that included extending Lincoln Avenue for site access and circulation, the installation of bike lanes and storage, improving pedestrian access, designating bus loading berths and construction and repaving parking lots.

Package two will see the creation of the Salinas Train Layover Facility to be constructed west of the Intermodal Transportation Center near downtown Salinas at an estimated cost of $25 million. Read more
Source: Monterey County Herald

MCBC February Membership Lunch: Get to Know Hartnell College President Michael Gutierrez

MCBC is pleased to host our February membership lunch with Hartnell College's new president, Michael Gutierrez. President Gutierrez will share a bit about himself as well as give an update on what's happening at Hartnell College (MCBC member).

Event Details
When: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10
Where: Bayonet & Blackhorse, Seaside.
Cost: $35, includes lunch. (When registering, you can see the lunch options by clicking “pricing details.”)


New & Improved Date!
MCBC 'Covid Business Survival Awards'

We decided to put off our gala event until all of the holiday madness has subsided. So, please mark your calendar for the “new and improved” date of Friday evening, Feb. 24, from 6-9 p.m. Instead of a normal celebration of what would be the Monterey County Business Council’s 25th anniversary, we’re going to call this event our “Covid Business Survival Awards.” We’ll have fun while we honor some of the businesses and people who have successfully weathered the storm of the last few years. $195 per person (we should mention it’s at Pebble Beach’s posh Inn at Spanish Bay). Click here to register. For sponsorship opportunities, please email our CEO at


MCBC appreciates our Title Sponsor, Chevron.

Heidi Quinn, Danny Little join Noland, Hamerly, Etienne & Hoss as new shareholders

Noland, Hamerly, Etienne & Hoss (MCBC member) announces two new shareholders.
Heidi A. Quinn has more than 25 years of experience in many aspects of the law, including contracts, water and land use, and construction law.  Ms. Quinn provides legal advice to public and municipal agencies, as well as nonprofit and mutual benefit corporations. Her J.D. is from Santa Clara University School of Law, and she is a graduate of Leadership Monterey County’s class of 2021.  Ms. Quinn is a past president of Speakeasy Toastmasters and currently serves on the Boards of Harmony at Home and the Monterey Museum of Art.

Danny Little joined the firm in 2018 after practicing in his home state of Texas. His practice is focused on business and real estate transactions and nonprofit law.  His J.D. is from the University of Texas School of Law. Mr. Little serves as Board Secretary for CASA of Monterey County and on California Rodeo Salinas’ Carnival and Announcing Committees. He is a member of Downtown Salinas Rotary and just completed the Grower-Shipper Foundation’s AgKnowledge program. In 2022, Mr. Little was named Young Professional of the Year by the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce.   

You don't want to miss this: TPO's Employment Law & Leadership Conference

TPO's 19th Annual Employment Law & Leadership Conference is taking place on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, from 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. VirtuaLive. This is a premier conference for business owners, managers, human resources, risk management, and legal counsel in public, private and non-profit organizations. Learn from the leading Littler attorneys about the latest employment law twists and turns to bring you up to speed on the regulatory front as well as trends to watch for in the future. Learn about the many compliance issues that are of greatest concern to corporate counsel, human resource professionals, executives, and other managers on a day-to-day basis. Littler’s Employment Law Update is a thought-provoking overview and analysis of the most critical employment and labor law issues confronting employers right now.

Monterey County Business Council members qualify for a special discount rate. Register with discount code "MCBC" for Monterey County Business Council discount rate of $249.

Register here
Procurement Technical Assistance with Government Contracting.

Upcoming Monterey Bay PTAC Events

Visit the Monterey Bay PTAC website at to learn more about government contracting, see upcoming webinars, or contact our PTAC team.

Special thanks to the County of Monterey for its ongoing support of the Monterey County Business Council's efforts for economic development and education.

Make sure your news gets noticed!

Submit news items of general interest about your organization or upcoming events for consideration for inclusion in Friday Facts, our weekly MCBC e-newsletter that reaches key decision-makers, industry leaders, movers and shakers in Monterey County and the greater region.  And if you aren't yet a member, join us now and help shape the future of Monterey County for the better. Download the membership application or call 216-3000.

Founded in 1995, the Monterey County Business Council (MCBC) is a 501(c)(6) organization comprised of a diverse group of members representing all industries and geographic areas of Monterey County. It remains the only countywide organization focused on business advocacy, economic development and workforce readiness.

Please support our efforts, by becoming a member today: Membership Application
If you are a current MCBC member, please help us grow our membership by forwarding this email to businesses who will benefit from our services.

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