With Connecticut facing critical General Assembly elections this fall, CBIA has launched a public awareness campaign targeting issues impacting the state's struggling economy and job growth.
The Fix Connecticut campaign reflects widespread voter frustration with the state's economic direction--frustration that's hit an all-time high according to a June Quinnipiac University poll.
That same poll also revealed that 65% of voters, another all-time high, disapprove of the way the state legislature is handling its job.
And more than a third of Connecticut voters told the Q-Poll that the economy and jobs were the most important problems facing the state.
CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan says the state's largest business organization is putting new resources and a greater sense of urgency into its election year activities.
"This campaign is about keeping jobs, people, and businesses in Connecticut," Brennan said.
"It's about making our state a better place to live and work.
"We have a critical cause, and we're asking all voters to join the fight and channel their frustration into positive action that will turn things around."
The Fix Connecticut campaign includes digital and social media advertising, along with integrated direct mail and grassroots advocacy activities.
Voters have the power to create change by electing lawmakers who will make the economy and jobs their number one priority.
"As with past elections, we will be communicating with our members and their employees, but because the stakes are so high for Connecticut we must increase awareness among all voters," he said.
"This year more than ever, state elections matter."
Brennan said the campaign will focus on key issues such as taxes, government mandates, and attracting and retaining great talent--while highlighting legislative candidates from all political parties who are committed to fixing the economy and creating jobs.
Connecticut Needs Change
“Connecticut needs change," Brennan said. "We've made too many policy choices that have made the state less competitive and hurt our economy.
"Despite all the advantages of doing business in Connecticut, the reality is we still trail too many other states in job and economic growth. We need to develop more good job opportunities to keep young people here.
"Connecticut voters have the power to create change by electing state lawmakers who will make the economy and jobs their number one priority."
Brennan noted that disapproval of the legislature’s performance rose dramatically after the General Assembly approved one of the biggest tax hikes in state history in 2015, sparking further fiscal upheaval this year.
Voter dissatisfaction with Connecticut's direction followed a similar pattern: plummeting in 2011 after the economy was hit with the largest tax increases in state history, and steadily declining again to its low point today.
A report presented to the state's Commission on Economic Competitiveness in April detailed the chilling effect tax hikes and ever-increasing mandates on business are having on Connecticut's ability to compete regionally, nationally, and globally.
The state's business climate also ranks poorly in numerous independent national studies and surveys, further illustrating the urgent need for change.
“We have tremendous assets in Connecticut and terrific potential," Brennan said. "But bad policy choices over the years are limiting and diminishing those strengths.
“If we want our economy to grow, if we want to keep and bring good, well-paying jobs here, we have to make different choices.
“Voters must elect candidates--regardless of their political affiliation--who are serious about resolving our serious fiscal issues, improving our business climate, and making Connecticut a top state for economic growth and job creation.”