With business confidence low and the state’s economy sluggish, the General Assembly’s Commerce Committee did its best to find ways to achieve some small gains for the business community this year.

The budget implementer bill (HB 6706) contained two positive measures that:

  • Require DECD to develop a plan to facilitate the growth of the bioscience and pharmaceutical industry in Southeast Connecticut
  • Establish a Department of Labor program to provide grants to pass-through entities that employ and train apprentices under a qualified apprenticeship training program, similar to the tax credits provided to corporation to employ and train apprentices

Other helpful Commerce Committee proposals include those that:

  • Support continuation of the state’s Small Business Express program with an additional $60 million gained from the reallocation of small business development funds and the sale of $20 million in bonds (SB 801)
  • Allow DECD to give preference in the awarding of grants and loans from the Small Business Express to businesses seeking to sell their goods and services through new foreign markets (HB 1004)
  • Increase  the tax credit for businesses for each of the apprentices in a qualified apprenticeship training program they employ, and increases the total amount of the tax credits allowed to a business for each apprentice (SB 1079)

In addition, the Commerce Committee took aim at regulatory processes businesses say are burdensome.  HB 6651 will help transform the discovery and cleanup of brownfields by moving toward a system based on levels of risk rather than a system triggered simply by changes in ownership.  And HB 1006 requires state agencies rendering decisions on permit or licensing proceedings to identify the specific legal authority their decision is based upon.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Eric Gjede at 860.244.1931 or eric.gjede@cbia.com.