It could soon be easier to do business with the state of Connecticut. HB 6316, awaiting action in the Government Administration and Elections Committee, takes an important first step toward creating a Connecticut business portal, a concept that other states seeking to become more business-friendly are adopting.

The portal, also known as a concierge, helps companies more easily access the resources they need in the state bureaucracy. HB 6316 begins the process by establishing an electronic identification number for each business in Connecticut that will enable state agencies to quickly identify a company as it shops for state services.

Whether filing taxes, complying with environmental regulations, applying for a new permit, researching incentive programs or any of the myriad ways businesses must interact with government, this bill will start to streamline the process.

Ultimately, instead of spending hours on phone calls or wasting weeks sending letters back and forth, businesses would be able to contact a one-stop portal that shepherds their requests through the maze of state government.

Connecticut can’t get to the full business concierge concept without HB 6316, which will simplify the way in which state bureaucracy identifies and interacts with companies. The bill is a positive move toward a bigger goal.

With the enormity of the state’s economic crisis, this seemingly simple measure would allow Connecticut to develop practices here that are maintaining and growing jobs in other states.

Manufacturers Account

An innovative proposal to help manufacturers grow in Connecticut (HB 6584) died in the Finance Committee this week, but proponents are working on ways to revise and revive it in other legislative vehicles. The idea is to create a Manufacturing Reinvestment Account that will allow manufacturers to invest a certain amount each year in a tax-free savings account.

Access to capital is still a problem for businesses trying to grow, and the account would be a practical, positive way to make it easier for companies to invest and stay in Connecticut.