June 23, 2017

Stanley CEO outlines conditions for keeping companies in CT

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
Jim Loree is president and CEO of New Britain-based Stanley Black & Decker Inc.

Stanley Black and Decker CEO Jim Loree has publicly issued a call to action to Connecticut leaders intent on keeping companies like his from defecting to other states.

In an opinion letter published in the Hartford Courant Friday, the chief executive, who assumed the top post at the New Britain-based manufacturer almost a year ago, outlined conditions he says could keep the area's publicly traded companies here.

Loree, who referenced the expected relocation of Aetna's headquarters out of Hartford and Florida Gov. Rick Scott's recent attempts to recruit more companies to leave, called on lawmakers to avoid "new major tax burdens."

"I cannot speak for them individually," Loree writes, referring to his unnamed peers, "however, I know for a fact that the majority of the remaining public company CEOs in the Greater Hartford area feel committed not only to staying here, but are willing to roll up their sleeves and work with government to bring more jobs into the state under certain conditions."

The other two conditions include a commitment from government leaders and politicians to foster a "hospitable" business climate and help make the Capital City more viable fiscally and as an attraction for young talent.

In March, three Hartford-based insurers -- Aetna, the Travelers Cos. and The Hartford -- made a concrete gesture to help the city financially, committing $50 million over five years.

Stanley was founded in New Britain in 1843, Loree noted.

"We have thrived here for almost 175 years and hope to be here for the foreseeable future," he wrote.

Loree also praised the budget plans offered by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the GOP, saying that passing one or the other or a compromise budget would also give him more confidence in the state's future. He said he personally favored the GOP proposal.

Lawmakers and Malloy are expected to try and hash out a plan in special session next week.

Corporate spokespersons for Stanley Black & Decker did not immediately respond to calls and emails Friday seeking comment.

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