As the state continues to experience economic tumult from the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Ned Lamont’s leadership in handling the crisis is getting top grades from Joseph Brennan, president and CEO of the Connecticut Business & Industry Association.
In an interview with the Business Journal, Brennan said Lamont’s administration is “doing a very good job” and praised him for bringing multiple perspectives to his planning.
“Governor Lamont has put together a really good team – some people from the private sector, some people from the public sector – that are managing us through this crisis,” Brennan said. “They’ve been incredibly accessible to me and to other people in the business community.”
Brennan agreed with the governor’s edict on the closing of businesses deemed as nonessential, dubbing it “well done” in trying to keep people at home without “overly hurting our economy.”
He also expressed optimism that the state legislature will further aid in the governor’s actions when it returns to session.
“We’re hopeful when they convene that we’ll be able to quickly move through some recovery packages that will help both individuals and small businesses that have been most severely impacted by the crisis,” he said.
Brennan acknowledged that the state had more than a few economic problems before COVID-19 showed up, but he did not see the pre-pandemic shakiness as an impediment to a post-pandemic rebound.
“Even though Connecticut has lagged other states, the underlying infrastructure of the economy has been good and the global economy and national economy remained strong up until the time of this virus,” he said. “So, we’re hopeful that when we get back to some semblance of normalcy there’ll be a pent-up demand for production and certain services that people have to forego during this crisis, and then we’ll see a relatively quick ramp up.”
For his part, Brennan stated the CBIA members have been bombarding the organization with multiple questions related to the new policies and guidelines from the state and federal governments. And in view of the crisis, Brennan announced a change of plans following the recent news leak that he was planning to retire from the CBIA’s leadership team.
“To be honest with you, I’m not even thinking anything about retirement,” he said. “I’m just going to see this through, as long as it takes. If it coincides with my initial retirement plans, then that would be great. And if it goes beyond that, I am ready, willing and able to keep helping to fight for our members fight through this.”