Connecticut Business Day 2010

One of my favorite days of the year is Connecticut Business Day. I missed in 2009 because I was traveling, but I’ll be there on 24 February. The Connecticut Business & Industry Association will host the event, which draws business people from all over the state. We meet with our legislators and deliver the message that business is the bedrock of our economy.

I’m torn about which breakout session to attend. #1 and #3 are most important to me, but they all look good:

Session #1
Create a tax policy that welcomes business and creates jobs…

Session #2
Don’t price jobs out of Connecticut: Control labor costs to put people back to work…

Session #3
Manufacturing drives our economy: Clear the roadblocks…

Session #4
Open the doors to small business…

Businesses, particularly manufacturers, need to get the word out like never before. With a budget process run amok and momentum within the corridors of political power to maintain spending levels while raising taxes, businesses have to stand up for what is right. At Horst Engineering, we have been brutally honest with our employees about the challenges that we face. 2008 and 2009 dealt a blow that many employers could not withstand. I get a machine shop auction flyer every day. Our 64 year history, strength, and quality have seen us through the early part of this tempest, but the storm is far from over.

With new taxes and mandates at the federal and state levels, the political decision-makes are playing with fire. The recent discussion of small business stimulus garnered media attention in the past few days, but has done nothing to quell business owners’ fears about what is to come. Our employees want Horst Engineering to stay strong and vibrant. They know that continuous improvement and technology investment are the keys to our two-pronged approach. To grow again, we will adapt. Our recent kaizen activities are proof that we will innovate to stay competitive.

But…it isn’t enough. An onslaught of taxation would drive up our costs, hinder our growth, and hurt the prospects for new Connecticut jobs. I’ll be there on Connecticut Business Day. I’ll share our perspective.

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