“A very, very expensive place to live and to do business.”

January 13, 2023

New Haven area business leaders got to sit down with their legislators and discuss what’s important to them. It was the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce Regional Legislative Forum Breakfast, and businesses have one main concern.

“This is a very, very expensive place to live, to do business,” said John Emra, the Atlantic Region President of AT&T. “Let’s try to lower the cost of living, lower the cost of operating a business here.”

The Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce’s President and CEO Garrett Sheehan said the state needs to continue to make smart choices. “Not overregulate, keep taxes low to the extent that we can,” Sheehan said. “There are some opportunities with the unemployment trust fund to pay down some of that debt that, otherwise, businesses will have to pay.”

“And we have the ability to do it,” said State Sen. Kevin Kelly (R-Minority Leader). “As you heard, we have an operating surplus in the current budget in the billions. Not just millions, it’s billions.”

That’s right, lawmakers have the good problem of deciding how to spend a surplus in this budget year.

One thing both sides of the aisle want is more affordable housing.

“Because if you live in a house that is a quality house where the roof doesn’t leak, guess what? You have a different perspective on your community,” Sen. Kelly said.