Record Number Of State Businesses Close In First Quarter
By LYNN DOAN
April 21, 2009
Nearly 3,500 Connecticut businesses closed between January and March — the highest number recorded in the first quarter of a year since the state began keeping records in 2000, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz said Monday.
The number of "business stops" rose by 16 percent to 3,477 in the first quarter of 2009 compared with the same period last year. In March alone, 1,676 Connecticut businesses shut down — the highest number in the month of March ever recorded. The number of businesses that opened during the first quarter was down by 13 percent compared with last year's first quarter, Bysiewicz said.
"Even though some national numbers point to a bottoming out of our current economic recession, Connecticut businesses are clearly struggling to stay afloat," said Bysiewicz, who has announced her potential run for governor in 2010.
Bysiewicz said the state must get federal stimulus money "into the hands of Connecticut entrepreneurs as quickly, efficiently, and transparently as possible" and make critical investments in health care and transportation.
Details on the number of people employed by the businesses that closed were not available Monday.
Fred Carstensen, director of UConn's Center for Economic Analysis, described the record-high closings as "deeply troubling." The numbers underscore the need, he said, for the state to invest in critical industries, such as life sciences and renewable energy.
Though disappointing, economist Don Klepper-Smith said the first-quarter statistics were "not unexpected."
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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