112th District Race: How can Connecticut attract, retain businesses?

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The following is the second part of a series leading up to the special election for the Connecticut General Assembly’s open 112th District seat, representing Monroe and portions of Newtown. Each article will feature one question for the candidates.

MONROE, CT — Company executives look for low taxes, a supportive regulatory environment and a rich talent pool among some key factors in deciding where to base their operations. Connecticut has a reputation for not being “business friendly.”

The candidate who wins the 112th District’s special election on April 13 will grapple with this issue, while working in the Connecticut General Assembly to serve his constituents in Monroe and portions of Newtown.

The Sun asked Republican, Tony Scott of Monroe; Democrat, Nick Kapoor of Monroe, and Independent Party candidate William “Bill” Furrier of Sandy Hook for their opinions on the issue.

The Sun will pose a series of questions leading up to election day, changing up the order of the candidates’ answers. Today, Nick Kapoor will answer first.

What can state legislators do to promote growth in Connecticut’s economy and attract and retain businesses?

Nick Kapoor: As the Vice President of a local software company, I am deeply attuned to and intimately familiar with the problems and issues that face businesses in our State.

Certainly, there are opportunities for us to minimize (and in some cases, eliminate) some of the “red tape” and the onerous paperwork required to do business in Connecticut.

In addition, Hartford must make a much more serious commitment to promoting our state to outside business interests. We must SELL all of the many benefits of living and doing business in Connecticut much more aggressively while keeping the tax burden fair and as low as possible for our businesses and residents.

Tony Scott:

We must make it more affordable to live in Connecticut, so then businesses can attract and keep top talent. We currently are having a significant “brain drain” where young adults graduate college and then leave the state.

Legislators also need to be open minded about providing incentives to businesses who are willing to make long term commitments to the state.

Bill Furrier: Taxes and training are the key words. Consistently work towards lowering taxes, which primarily impact businesses so that Connecticut becomes a business-friendly state.

At the same time expand training programs for our youth and displaced workers, which will prepare them for careers of the future. Build on our outstanding four year and community colleges to help retrain displaced workers that need to adapt to a changing workforce.

Encourage R&D by expanding tax incentives.

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