BRISTOL - The Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce and the New England Spring and Metalstamping Association are heading to Hartford with hundreds of business leaders from across the state for Connecticut Business Day on Wednesday, March 8. The organizations are on a mission to present one voice on business-related proposals and policies impacting the economic landscape in the state.
“It is the one day that the legislators and governor set aside to listen to the concerns of businesses and the business community,” said Paul Lavoie, chairman of the CCCC Legislative Action Committee. “We like to aggregate all of our business owners to create a single voice to make sure the governor and legislators understand the issues that face businesses today.”
CCCC President and CEO Cindy Scoville said they are hoping 40 to 50 chamber members will attend. Members who are interested in going will be taking a bus that leaves from the chamber parking lot at 8 a.m. Scoville will have handheld signs with the chamber and NESMA logos on them to signify their representation.
“The idea is power in numbers. All of the chambers that represent are there. It’s exciting because they will announce the chambers that are there,” Scoville said.
During the morning of events, Gov. Dannel Malloy will address the chambers and manufacturing groups and give an overview of what is going on with business legislation at the state level. Joe Brennan, the president of Connecticut Business and Industry Association, will speak before attendees break off into local legislative breakout for Hartford/Litchfield and other areas.
“Our goal as Chamber of Commerce is to make sure that our businesses are aware of what is going on at the state level,” Scoville said. “Our 2017 priorities are creating a business environment that promotes growth.”
On the chamber’s list of priorities, there is also delivering a balanced budget, championing the collaboration of municipal and educational resources, and supporting local hospitals.
Lavoie hopes to voice many businesses’ opinions on wage- and benefit-related bills. There are bills to raise minimum wage to $15 per hour and requirements for paid and sick leave.
“(The minimum wage) bill is a bill that will eliminate many good jobs that are available now,” Lavoie said. “It’s our position; let us determine what our pay and benefits are. We take good care of our employees and don’t need the government telling us what to do.”
Among the groups attending is the Connecticut Association of Small Manufacturers, including NESMA.
“Generally what we are hoping to accomplish is to convince legislators that we need to put ideology and partisanship aside wherever it exists and concentrate on the budget. The budget is the number one most important thing for the long-term health of our state, our citizens and for business,” said Michael Brault, president of NESMA.
NESMA’s goals are to grow the skilled workforce by creating technical education programs that will boost manufacturing jobs and wages, sharpen their grants and loan programs, build a better Connecticut business environment and work on partnerships with the government.
“We’d like our voices to be heard,” Lavoie said. “I think the Connecticut Chambers of Commerce Legislative Action Committee is very active and motivated to help business owners. We’re really coming together to make sure we have a very healthy business environment so we can create jobs. We are very focused on working hard to make sure people have opportunities to succeed in Connecticut.”
Chamber members who want to take the bus to attend Connecticut Business Day can contact Cindy Scoville at .