HARTORD: The Connecticut Business and Industry Association has asked its members, are they optimistic or pessimistic about the outlook for their firms?

The answers are to be found in the group's 2017 Third Quarter Economic and Credit Availability Survey.

Both the percentage of business expecting improved conditions and those with a negative outlook rose in the third quarter.
The survey shows significant increases over the previous quarter in both the percentage of firms reporting an improved outlook and those expecting worsening conditions.

Madden Thomas StamfordStamford - innovating since 1641: Over $6 billion in new residential and commercial development 

By Thomas Madden

The City of Stamford leads the rest of Connecticut with over $6 billion in new residential and commercial development. This development supports the strong and diverse commercial, industrial and retail business base. Stamford enjoys a high concentration of corporate headquarters of Fortune 500 and 1000 companies that contribute to the daytime population of 200,000, and that take advantage of the city’s growing pool of young talent within the 25-35 age range. Residents enjoy a high quality of life  including good schools, a broad array of public services, attractive parks and recreational activities, and a safe living environment. In this regard, the city has been consistently ranked as one of the safest cities in the United States by the FBI; based on 2016 crime data, Stamford was ranked the 12th safest city with a population over 100,000 in the country.

Foundation's Ginsberg: "the ugly and divisive mood that pervades the country,”

NEW HAVEN: The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven releasesed a list of 46 grants it has awarded as it closes 2017. The organization said the funds "provide suppoirt amid 2017's unprecedented challenges. Citing changes on the federal level and the tight Connecticut budgetm, the total granted exceeds $3 million. [ see grantees and amounts below

William W. Ginsberg, President & CEO of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, said “our community’s most vulnerable residents and the nonprofit sector that supports them are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the state budget, new federal policy directions and the ugly and divisive mood that pervades the country,” adding  “throughout 2017, The Foundation has worked with nonprofits, donors and others to understand their new challenges and to address them. These grants are part of The Foundation’s response to these unique times.”

harbor yardBRIDGEPORT: Baseball is officially out at Harbor Yard, as the City Council has approved a plan by the Mayor Joe Ganim to convert the stadium to a concert venue. The council had near unanimous approval with an 18-2 vote in favor.

The council’s vote doesn’t guarantee clear sailing for the project, however. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers the American League Hockey team that plays next door to the stadium’s facility at the Webster Bank Arena says it has an agreement with the city to run concerts as well, and see a conflict with the new concerts, and is threatening legal action.

Councilors have taken the threat seriously in their agreement that it won’t assume any costs if the project is blocked.

The Sound Tigers is already in a bitter dispute with the City over costs at the Arena.

One local source indicated that Howard Saffan the developer of the project and previous executive at the Arena may have a non-compete with the hockey club as well.

The conversion to the 6000, seat Harbor Yard Amphitheater is expected to be completed before the 2019 outdoor concert season requires a $15 million investment. The costs are too be split between the city and Harbor Yard Amphitheater LLC, at partnership of Live Nation and Sazffan’s Shelton based SportsCenter of Connecticut. Live Nation is not expected to provide direct capital for the conversion to a concert venue. The partnership is responsible for the upkeep of the stadium going forward,

Live Nation expects to attract a “minimum” of twenty events per outdoor season. The city is expected to earn $3 per ticket or $150,000 in rent.

gelogoBOSTON: Investors have joined many Nutmeggers as they come out of the closet on their distaste for former GE (NYSE:GE] CEO Jeffrey Immelt.

As GE’s new CEO John Flannery announced that expected results had been predicted under Immelt at $1.70 per share but in spite of higher sales, profits would be down to approximately $1.10 per share.

Reaction to Immelt’s move of GE headquarters to Boston was an early Flannery’s cost saving target as he slowed down the building of the new headquarters.

The bad earnings, were punctuated by a recent story about Immelt having a backup corporate jet flying with him, in case of a problem.