One of the best Christmas presents for Connecticut businesses this year was something that never even showed up under the tree.

Earlier this month, a Congressional conference committee quashed a new federal mandate that would have added mountains of paperwork and millions in costs to employers throughout the U.S.

CBIA joined business associations from across the country, led by UWC, in opposing an amendment to the trade customs bill (H.R. 644) that would have required every employer to report the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) for every one of their employees whose wages are reported quarterly.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the red tape would have cost American employers at least hundreds of millions of dollars to comply with in the first year alone.

Plus, the mandate would have plunked untold administrative costs into the laps of state governments for collecting, coding, maintaining, and reporting the new data for their unemployment compensation systems.

But instead of being the Grinch this year, the bill’s conference committee bowed to pressure from the national coalition of business groups, and common sense, and decided to cut the costly pile of red tape from the bill.

The final version of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 now awaits a Senate vote, which some observers expect to take place in January.

UWC says “thanks” to all who joined in opposition to the proposed mandate, as does CBIA.

More layers of costs and paperwork were definitely not on Connecticut employers’ Christmas lists.

It’s hard enough dealing with the effects of high state and federal taxes, other workplace costs and first-in-the-nation mandates that have slowed the growth of jobs in the state.

This year, Connecticut placed #47 in the U.S. for workplace costs in CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business survey.

Given that ranking and the state of Connecticut’s economy, sometimes the best gifts are the ones that never show up.