Amid the concerns and difficult choices surrounding the state's fiscal health and crafting Connecticut's next biennial budget, the state Senate recently passed two bills that foster economic growth and job creation.
SB 962 provides for a private third-party vendor to develop metrics that help officials accurately measure the impact of the state’s investments in bioscience and precision medicine.
The data allows a clearer picture of the actual outcome of state investments, including job creation and the “multiplier effect” of investments across Connecticut's economy.
Given the potential of the biomedical field—and the quality of these jobs in terms of salaries and benefits—it is important that state incentives are used wisely to maximize investment return.
“Bioscience and precision medicine are growing rapidly in Connecticut, and we need to be able to move nimbly and make smart investment decisions in order to ensure that this growth continues,” said Commerce Committee co-chair Senator Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury).
“We need to ensure that this finite pool of funds is used most effectively in order to ensure the maximum economic impact and job growth.
"This bill is a critical part of Connecticut's economic strategy, positioning the state to grow its bioscience sector.”
Small Business Express
Another bill, SB 820, allows physicians and physician offices to participate in the Small Business Express Program, recognizing that physician medical practices are increasingly many-faceted enterprises that are significant employers and economic drivers.
Established in 2011, the Small Business Express Program provides grants and loans that can be used to purchase or lease machinery, expand operations, relocate within Connecticut, or for use as working capital.
SB 962 is a critical part of Connecticut's economic strategy, positioning the state to grow its bioscience sector.
Linking medical practices to the program solves a problem too often cited by physicians—the difficulty in accessing capital to form new and expand existing medical practices.
SB 820 remedies this by making low interest loans available to physician practices.
To date, 1,690 companies have qualified for more than $267 million in grants and loans through the program. It is estimated the program allowed Connecticut companies to retain 18,687 jobs and create an additional 6,805 jobs.
These bills add to others that recently passed the Senate and help improve Connecticut's business climate, including SB 963, which streamlines the certification process for high school occupational subject teachers, and establishes a working group to develop a program to train prison inmates for manufacturing jobs.
SB 962, SB 820, and SB 963 await action in the House.