Survey of Connecticut businesses finds more reporting profits

Markets Associated Press

A survey of Connecticut businesses released Friday found that nearly two-thirds showed a profit over the past year, but many are considering out-of-state options for expansion.

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The 63 percent of respondents who say they made a profit is the highest level reported by the annual survey since 2006.

The survey by Connecticut Business and Industry Association and the business services firm BlumShapiro was distributed to business leaders in June and July amid debate over a budget plan that included tax increases criticized by many local businesses. The survey was sent to about 5,500 executives, and 584 responded.

The dispute between Connecticut businesses and elected officials this year over tax increases was on the agenda of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association's Connecticut Economy conference Friday in Hartford. Many companies have said tax proposals included in the budget would hurt the state's business climate.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the legislature rolled back nearly $224 million of $1.5 billion in tax increases planned over two years.

In the survey, 31 percent of businesses indicated they were considering out-of-state options for growth.

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"The overriding consensus of this year's survey is the need for state lawmakers to engage business leaders to create a more business-friendly climate in Connecticut, by enhancing the dialogue on taxes and competiveness," said Andrew Lattimer, a partner with BlumShapiro.

Forty-eight percent of respondents said taxes are the biggest concern of businesses, and 91 percent said they consider Connecticut to be less friendly toward business compared to states outside the Northeast.