Alan Ortner, president of a Berlin manufacturer of precision tooling and fixtures, has strong opinions on state policy and doesn't hesitate to tell House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz what he thinks.

"I'm opposed to anything that's going to increase the costs of business," said Ortner, who runs Sirois Tool Co. Inc.

Alan Ortner
If business owners are not at the state Capitol, "we're going to be ignored" says Sirois Tool's Alan Ortner.

"We're already struggling here in Connecticut."

CBIA, which regularly lobbies the General Assembly on numerous pro-business measures, is using a secret weapon to reach out to lawmakers: its members.

Ortner is participating in the CBIA's "adopt-a-legislator" program to connect state lawmakers with business owners and advocates to inform lawmakers of what businesses need to succeed in Connecticut and promote the group's agenda of lower taxes and fewer regulations.

"Legislators remember stories," said Brian Flaherty, senior vice president for public policy at CBIA and a former Republican state representative.

"They remember things they see, things they hear."