Results of an annual survey describing the best and worst states in which to run a business were released recently, and the news for Connecticut isn’t so hot.
In fact, it’s downright discouraging. Once again, the nutmeg state sits just above the bottom. Connecticut, despite what many state lawmakers say, isn’t open for business. The problems are well known: too many taxes, too much regulation.
The eighth annual survey, conducted by Chief Executive Magazine, considered responses from 650 business leaders. CEOs graded states in which they do business in areas such as regulation and taxes, living environment and quality of workforce. Texas, noted for its regulatory and business-friendly tax environment, finished at the top of the list. California finished at the bottom of the list for the eighth straight time.
But sitting at 44th, Connecticut isn’t much better than The Golden State.
Among the comments from survey respondents was, “Connecticut continues its rapid decline and it’s getting ugly.”
Within the last year, the legislature passed into law a controversial mandate governing the amount of sick leave some employers must provide to their workers. And the General Assembly was a whisker away from adopting “captive audience” legislation preventing employers from talking to workers about policy issues that impact the viability of their businesses.
Those actions, and others, were red flags for anyone even considering moving to or creating a business here in Connecticut.
Opportunity is passing us by. Three nearby states—New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts—ranked below ours and another, Rhode Island, is just above us on the list. There’s no reason why Connecticut, as one respondent wrote, couldn’t become a refuge for businesses in those states.
Instead, Connecticut’s legislature consistently pursues tax increases and ironclad regulations—both barriers to growth.
We must reverse this trend if we’re going to move up the list.