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California’s Drought Makes It Rain Big Bucks For Local Businesses

By Denise Valenzuela

Posted in

We have looked at how the drought has impacted large and small local businesses.  For many companies the drought has put pressure on them and has hurt revenue.  But for a growing swath of savvy local companies the opposite is happening.  The drought is making it rain big bucks and really helping to grow these companies faster than ever imaginable – even but these companies respective founders! When people call up Greywater Corps, they’re greeted with a recorded message: “Note that we are overwhelmed with inquiries right now, so it may be a while before we get back to you. But have faith.  The company helps homeowners with the complicated process of installing their own Greywater systems. The system takes drainage from showers or washing machines and uses it to water lawns.  It sounds like a great idea now, but six years ago, when the company started, few people were interested.

The drought is also helping entrepreneurs such as Gayle Butensky. She started a drought-tolerant landscaping business five years ago. They specialize in using plants native to California.  All those native plants have to come from somewhere, which has made California Cactus Center a very popular shop these days. When we first started it was not mainstream, but now it is. Because of the drought business has never been better — up 20 percent since last year.

Last year, Los Angeles started offering a $3.75 rebate on every square foot of grass homeowners rip out and replace with a drought-friendly landscape.  No industry has benefited more than synthetic turf manufactures and installtion companies.  Many turf companies beieve they have finally built the organization to a size where we think it’s going to meet demand, demand just sort of jumps up and they have to grow again.  For example – When Turf Terminators started just 10 months ago, it had three full-time employees. Now it has more than 500.

With no end in sight, California’s drought may present a long-term boost for local entrepreneurs.

 

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