WNPR

Connecticut Small Businesses: What Have You Done for Us Lately?

Oct 21, 2016

Connecticut business leaders are sounding the alarm about the state’s economic direction after the third straight month of job losses.

Nothing improved about Connecticut’s jobs picture in September; according to preliminary figures, the state shed some 5,200 positions. Revised numbers for August also show the state lost 800 jobs that month.

David Lewis runs a human resources consulting business, Operations Inc., in Norwalk. This latest jobs news got him thinking about the state’s pro-active business policy of four or five years ago.

"You saw Governor Malloy and Catherine Smith from the DECD move themselves around the state, in an effort to talk to business, find out what it is that would help them grow, and then go ahead and put programs in place," Lewis told WNPR.

And now – not so much....unless you’re a big player like Pratt & Whitney or Sikorsky.

"It's difficult to stomach the state saying that we are in tough times, and using that as an excuse for a lack of proactive behavior toward growing businesses," he said, "when at the same time the biggest businesses in the state are being given tax breaks and programs designed to be able to foster their growth."

Lewis has hundreds of the state’s small businesses as his clients. He said they’re all talking about measures Connecticut could take to improve things, like reducing regulation, improving access to capital or even just promoting awareness of the programs that are already in place. "If you want to go ahead and dig out of this hole, the way to dig out of the hole is to plant seeds," said Lewis. 

Connecticut has yet to reach the levels of employment it saw before the 2008 financial crash.