Connecticut's largest business organization said today the response from state policymakers will determine the full impact of General Electric's decision to relocate its headquarters to Massachusetts.
Calling the news that GE will leave Fairfield for Boston "terribly disappointing," CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan said lawmakers must treat the company's decision seriously and not as an isolated case.
"The conditions that led to this decision exist for many companies in Connecticut," Brennan said today. "Businesses large and small are making investment decisions every day and they are paying close attention to what's happening in Hartford.
"How Connecticut policymakers react will impact the decisions other companies are now making about their investments here and elsewhere.
"It's time for an urgent and honest assessment of the state's business climate. We don't want to see this scenario play out again."
Brennan said many businesses remain concerned about the state's short and long-term fiscal issues, which generate widespread uncertainty and a lack of predictability, and the growing burden of costly workplace mandates.
He called last year's tax increases on businesses, which some legislative leaders later acknowledged were a mistake, the catalyst that led GE and other companies to review their Connecticut operations.
"It was significant that the General Assembly came back into special session not once, but twice, to repair some of the damage caused by the state budget that was approved last June," Brennan said.
"Connecticut has made real progress, regaining all the private sector jobs lost in the last recession, and our economy is growing, but we are not out of the danger zone.
"Accelerating that growth and unlocking the state's enormous potential begins, as Governor Malloy has said, with making Connecticut the most competitive state in the region and that's where the legislature must focus."
Brennan added that GE is a "great corporate citizen and adds a lot to the social fabric in Connecticut," expressing hope that the company will continue to maintain a large presence in the state.
CBIA is Connecticut’s largest business organization, with thousands of member companies, small and large, representing a diverse range of industries from every part of the state. For more information, please email or call Meaghan MacDonald (860.244.1957).