The bottom line concerning results from the annual survey administered by Connecticut’s foremost business lobbying group is, well, … what?
It’s actually hard to say. The Connecticut Business and Industry Association reports solid growth for many member businesses, with their principals nonetheless voicing strong discontent with the state’s economy. Many company owners across the state plan to hire more workers and begin new projects going forward, yet stress their fears of commercial traction while discussing those expansionary goals.
Part of what drives a questioning and even dour attitude toward the state’s business climate seemingly owes to many owners’ ongoing clawbacks from the so-called Great Recession. That recent economic downturn is obviously still on the minds of business managers.
Empirical data relevant to commercial stability and growth opportunities point decidedly upward on many fronts, though, simultaneously with the clear retention of cynical attitudes. The above-cited CBIA survey spotlights net profits for legions of Connecticut enterprises that are their highest in years. Moreover, sales growth for nearly half of survey respondents in 2018 was reportedly up by 36% from the prior year.
One outlook-dampening factor that is cited by many CBIA members is a widespread business belief that government policies issuing from Hartford are pro-worker to the point of detriment for business owners.
Two frequently underscored concerns are a rising minimum wage and a materially revised Family and Medical Leave program. Many employers say that such initiatives stifle their competitive abilities and also compel operational pullbacks.
Unsurprisingly, government spokespersons claim otherwise, insisting that state political leaders are eager to work closely with business principals to broadly improve the commercial sphere across all dimensions.
Government-business communications concerning economic growth and opportunity will certainly bear close watching during the remainder of this year.