by Alexander Soule | ctpost.com | June 7, 2015
A decade back, attorneys from the town of Fairfield and General Electric met in court to determine the value of the company, at least as measured by the worth of its headquarters property at 3135 Easton Turnpike. A judge ruled that the town erred in calculating its formula for arriving at its figure.
With GE CEO Jeff Immelt announcing last week a search for a potential new headquarters outside of Connecticut, representatives from Fairfield to Hartford are now working out their own calculus on the value Connecticut reaps from the behemoth’s presence.
Employment, tax contributions, philanthropy, real estate, reputation — all are slotted key points on the slide rule of economic development, in differing order depending on a particular vantage point.
“The mere presence of a corporate entity with the stature, world markets penetration, success story and history such as GE says a great deal about the place in which such an entity is located,” said Paul Timpanelli, CEO of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council. “To have such a company even consider leaving Connecticut, because Connecticut is no longer a place that encourages and supports business, is a very bad sign for the future economic growth of our state.”
Over the decades, GE has successfully kept its toehold near the top of the Fortune 500 — this past week it was ranked eighth on the 2015 installment of the list — in part through its willingness to drop lesser-performing business units and put that cash into faster-growth areas.