Lamont, Stefanowski weigh in on business challenges in CT

CT business owners hear from candidates for governor
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 5:40 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Business owners from around the state heard from the two major party candidates for governor on their plans to create growth.

These businesses are members of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA), an organization focused on creating a better environment for businesses.

While the state’s fiscal health is improving, there are still many challenges.

These business owners are focused on growing in a challenging economy.

“It’s critical that our elected officials acknowledge the underlying economic outlook,” said Chris Dipentima, President & CEO of CBIA.

The CBIA invited Governor Ned Lamont and Republican challenger Bob Stefanowski to share their economic visions.

“You’re going to hear a lot of promises about what we are going to do going forward but here’s the reality, we dropped 16 points last year in terms of our competitiveness to do business,” said Stefanowski.

A recent CNBC report showed Connecticut improving as far as being business friendly, but the high cost of living is slowing growth.

CBIA is releasing its own survey on Connecticut’s business climate. 85% of businesses say it’s difficult to find and retain workers. 85% say taxes are too high and 89% say the cost of living is too high.

“We’ve got $650 million in tax cuts, we are providing free job training,” said Lamont.

Lamont has also been focused on reducing the cost of health care for small businesses and creating more affordable housing.

Stefanowski wants to take $3 billion from the state’s surplus to cut more taxes. Lamont wants to use that money to help pay down debt and make sure there’s money in the coffers if needed.

“We talked about the workforce here and developing that workforce that’s a priority. If we develop the workforce perhaps some of those things will smooth out,” said Deb Gearty, a business owner.

Small businesses were hardest hit by the pandemic. Higher taxes along with inflation have some worried about a possible recession.

Business leaders say tax relief will make the state more competitive.

Candidates for governor weigh in on CT business challenges