Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Earlier today, I represented Horst Engineering at a Small Business Forum at the State of Connecticut Legislative Office Building. Governor Dannel Malloy has called a special Jobs Session of the General Assembly. With Connecticut’s unemployment rate at 9.1% and no hope in sight for job growth, politicians are worrying about how to get the economy growing again. The forum was hosted by the House Republican Caucus and was moderated by House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero, R-Norwalk. He said that the caucus wanted to “turn the tables” and hear directly from the small business community.

I was invited by Pamela Sawyer, R-Bolton. Over the course of two hours, about 20 small business leaders spoke about the challenges that we face doing business in Connecticut. We offered some specific suggestions about how to make the business environment friendlier and more competitive. The usual list of issues were discussed. High labor costs, high health care costs, high energy costs, mandates, regulations, skills shortages, high taxes, and a host of other challenges were listed. Suggestions to streamline government and reduce barriers were listed and projected on a screen for all to see. There were many state representatives in attendance and the forum was broadcast live. It was also recorded so it could be re-broadcast.

The business leaders came from different towns and industries. Among the businesses represented were a bakery, garden center, insurance agency, general contractor, firearms maker, eyelet manufacturer, tavern, pharmacy, technology company, metal finisher, a bus company, and of course, a precision machining company. Many of business owners in attendance vented their frustrations. These issues are the same ones that have been plaguing Connecticut for two decades.

I spoke about the issues facing manufacturers in the aerospace sector. I highlighted the importance that small business needs to be championed. I mostly shared my disillusionment with the current state of affairs. I’m tiring of these sorts of sessions. I feel like no matter what we say, the politicians do what is best for themselves. They ask for our input and then ignore it. The best thing that government can do is stop hindering small business and allow us to create our own destiny. Entrepreneurs face enough challenges that we shouldn’t have to battle government too.

Connecticut Mirror Coverage

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