The Connecticut Business and Industry Association’s annual survey was released last week at The Connecticut Economy conference in Rocky Hill and the news from Connecticut business owners is not good on main street Connecticut.
The survey’s goal is to take the pulse of Connecticut’s business community, by identifying issues and trends within the state’s economic, fiscal, and regulatory climates that help or hinder their ability to succeed.
Since 2010, the state had showed mixed progress in recovering from the 2008 recession. However, those steady gains through the first quarter of 2011 eroded significantly by the third quarter of the year.
The 2011 survey has uncovered a serious lack of confidence among businesses, with only 27% of those surveyed rating current conditions as excellent or good. Over two-thirds of businesses surveyed (68%) say Connecticut’s recent tax hike will negatively impact their decision to add new workers.
The confluence of higher state and local taxes in Connecticut, and growing consumer uncertainty about their own personal debt and the national debt along with the lack of leadership in Washington.
The survey also revealed what I and the House Republican Caucus have been saying for several years, we need to make streamlining government one of the top priorities for Connecticut. Businesses are all too often forced to wade through endless and needless red tape that continually get in the way of them running a smooth and efficient business. More than half of those surveyed said reducing the size of state government and making it more efficient was the single greatest action policymakers could take to spur long-term economic growth.
Another priority for businesses in this year’s survey is to give incentives for business startups, growth, and relocation and transportation infrastructure improvements. Some of the incentives might be to include expanding and improving vocational training, providing tax credits for new hires, reducing healthcare costs, and improving access to financing.
It is my hope the majority party in the state legislature hear the cry of the 5,027 business owners surveyed from across the state. We, as a state, risk further worsening unemployment and the prospect of watching more jobs leave Connecticut if we don’t listen.
Please feel free to contact my office at 1-800-842-1423 to voice your comments or concerns on this issue or other issues of the day. If you would like to receive regular updates from my office please go to www.repjangiegler.com and sign up to get my e-newsletter and latest videos.