Last Wednesday I participated in a forum at Hartford's Legislative Office Building that saw more than 50 business owners and executives share their frustrations over Connecticut’s poor business climate as well as their ideas for turning it around.
Most of the ideas shared were exactly what I had heard from residents in 2010 when I campaigned, and this past year as a representative: Government should step out of the way of people who create private sector jobs.
If Connecticut is going to turn things around for itself, we are going to have to take a look at our high tax level and restrictive regulations that hurt business expansion. The business leaders that attended the forum made it rather clear that government has been a hindrance in growing jobs and facilitating a recovery in this economy. I am a small business-owner and I, for one, was listening!
My colleagues and I organized the forum to collect input ahead of the governor's call for a special legislative session on Oct. 26 focused on improving our states business climate that ranks among the nation’s worst. Nearly every business owner or company executive who spoke described their bad experiences in trying to navigate a seemingly endless, cumbersome, and costly set of state regulations spread across several agencies. In many cases, success required the assistance of a paid consultant.
Many also expressed frustration over the governor’s administration that’s asking them what they need to create more jobs shortly after imposing the largest tax increase in state history, but also forcing some employers to provide mandatory paid sick leave to employees. One small business owner said it best when asked how can the state help business? His response was, "Stop helping, let us run our businesses!"
I am hopeful that with the upcoming special session on jobs, we will be able to address many of the ideas discussed at the forum, including eliminating the state’s business entity tax for manufacturing companies, streamlining the state’s permitting process, and making it easier for small businesses to bid on state jobs and purchasing orders. I'm interested in your ideas, too.
Please e-mail me your thoughts at Brenda.Kupchick@cga.ct.gov
Rep. Brenda L. Kupchick
132nd District, serving Fairfield & Southport