Promoting Business – And Jobs! – In Connecticut

May 21, 2010

One of the most positive accomplishments of the 2010 Legislative Session is the adoption of a far-reaching and comprehensive initiative to promote business development and new jobs for Connecticut residents. As a small business owner and active member of our region’s business community, I view this new law as a responsible effort on the part of the General Assembly to work with the private sector for the greater good of our state.

There is no question that Connecticut desperately needs jobs. While a report issued by the state Department of Labor showing that Connecticut gained 3,000 jobs in March – the third month in a row marked by job gains – is reason for optimism, state unemployment remains high at 9.2 percent. Overall, the recession has cost the state more than 100,000 jobs.

I believe that the strong bipartisan support for our just adopted jobs creation initiative sets the stage for what will undoubtedly be an ongoing effort to repair the damage caused by this recession and, just as importantly, strengthen our ability to weather future economic crises. Nevertheless, passing this comprehensive legislation is just the first step; all of the decision makers will now have to work together to ensure that this new law does what it is supposed to do.

Various provisions of this new law take effect at different times. Basically, it authorizes programs and policies for establishing or expanding businesses and creating jobs; tax credits for investing in new and expanding businesses; and pre-seed capital for businesses developing new concepts. Furthermore, this initiative includes provisions designed to help today’s students who are preparing themselves for tomorrow’s jobs.

These are some of the highlights of the new law:

• Creates a $15-million revolving loan fund for small businesses, and authorizes tax credits for those hiring new employees, including those with disabilities. Furthermore, it provides technical assistance for all businesses seeking foreign markets for their products and services.

• Directs the state’s community-technical colleges to develop training programs to prepare the unemployed to meet job needs. Also, it authorizes bonds for the existing mortgage crisis job training program.

• Provides financial incentives and technical assistance for businesses developing alternative energy technologies – and for Connecticut students seeking jobs in those and other technology fields.

• Authorizes personal income tax credits for “angel investors” who invest at least $100,000 in certain types of start-up businesses.

• Establishes a task force to increase government efficiency and eliminate waste. Among other things, this 12-member task force will determine how technology can help state agencies and departments reduce or eliminate duplicative procedures and paper usage. The task force must complete its work and make its recommendations by February 1, 2011.

• Creates a 21-member Connecticut Competitiveness Council to promote the formation of industry clusters, which are groups of businesses that do the same thing, use similar techniques, have similar workforce needs and purchase the same types of supplies and support services. The council will help industry clusters address their needs, and will monitor, assess and evaluate their activities. Also, the council will help state officials develop and implement policies to help industry clusters.

I urge those interested in learning more about the new jobs bill to visit the General Assembly’s website at, and type in use the ‘quick search’ bar at the top of the page to locate information about House Bill 5435. Or, better yet, please contact me if you would like to discuss this new law, or any of the many important issues facing our state. I can be reached at my legislative office in Hartford at 1-800-842-1421 or via e-mail to [email protected].