In January 2016, when General Electric announced it was moving its headquarters from Fairfield to Boston, CBIA cautioned policymakers the company's decision should not be treated as a one-off event.

We pointed out that the conditions that led to GE's move exist for many companies in the state and how policymakers react impacts decisions other businesses make about their investments here and elsewhere.

Now, a little more than a year later, it appears conditions here have not changed enough to prevent another iconic Connecticut company—Aetna—from considering a headquarters relocation to another state.

While no final decision has been made by the company, the message—either stated or implied—is that several thousand Aetna jobs would remain here.

But there is no guarantee that those jobs will stay if we don't see the fundamental changes to the business environment necessary to make businesses and the state more competitive and more attractive for investment.

Lawmakers' decisions have a direct, immediate impact on our ability to keep jobs here and attract the young talent businesses need.
As our elected officials deliberate over the state budget and myriad other legislative proposals that affect the state's business climate and economy, it's critical they remain mindful that the decisions they make will have a direct and immediate impact on our ability to keep jobs in Connecticut and attract the young talent our job creators need to thrive here.

To be sure, companies are looking at major metro areas like New York and Boston as optimal places for recruiting young professionals, but it's misguided to think that's the only reason a corporation would decide to move its headquarters.

In conversations we've had with Aetna over the years, it's clear their concerns centered on policy choices made by state government—largely around fiscal issues—and our overall business and regulatory environment.

Aetna is one of the world's great companies and plays an indispensable role in so many Connecticut communities and in the lives of so many of our residents.

We certainly hope the company will continue to maintain a large presence in our state, and we also hope policymakers understand the considerable influence they have over that decision through the choices they make in the weeks, months, and years to come.

Filed Under: Connecticut Economy, State Spending, Taxes
  • James Gerber

    What so many of those in and out of CBIA, could plainly see and what the Democratic leadership refused to acknowledge is that Connecticut has been is a death spiral for many budget cycles.

    Under rational economic theory it is virtually impossible to pull a State out of a deficit cycle by just raising taxes. Raising taxes just forces more businesses and individuals to leave the State or forgo economic expansion which leads to lower tax revenues and larger deficits.

    The response is to once again raise taxes thus repeating this death cycle over and over again. This is why Malloy’s huge tax incre3ase did not stop the deficit or even slow it down.

    As nice a place as Connecticut is to live people still are prone to being economically rational. The Rich may live in our State but given the short coming of our current tax structure with the high cost of living and the onerous Death taxes most will not choose to die in this State.

    So much of the super wealthy eventually migrate to lower cost more tax friendly States for their retirements and eventual passing.

    Well location has never been more fungible and now corporations who compete world wide for every scrap are leaving high cost States like Connecticut as well as the richer individuals.

    Only when and “if” this State changes its economic environment and tax structure, Tightens its belt and brings spending in line with current economic realities will this death spiral be halted and so far its not looking good for this to take place any time soon.