Riverton – State Representatives Bill Simanski (R-62) and Tami Zawistowski (R-61) toured Hitchcock Chair Company with owner Rick Swenson. Hitchcock Chair Company was first started in 1818 by Lambert Hitchcock and will be celebrating its 200th anniversary. The company was an early example of Connecticut innovation, introducing mass production for chairs originally shipping legs, seats and backs as kits. Hitchcock chairs became known nationwide for their durability and design. Rick Swenson and his business partners bought the brand name in 2010 and restarted production after a brief hiatus using original templates, plans and stencils. Rick Swenson shared his concerns about the difficulties of operating a small business in Connecticut especially the tax and regulatory environment. Additionally he pointed the out migration of middle class households from Connecticut, who make up a significant part of their customer base, has hurt his overall business. The company has no plans to leave Connecticut and is hoping to expand their production facilities.
Rep. Simanski reported, “It’s incredible that Hitchcock will be celebrating their 200th anniversary this year. Our community has some tremendous assets that can attract people from all over to visit, shop or start a home. My goal this session is to help small businesses, like Hitchcock , with legislation to remove the obstacles and promote growth.”
Rep. Zawistowski shared, “It’s wonderful that Rick stepped up to continue the Hitchcock tradition of fine craftsmanship. Hitchcock is an iconic brand and part of Connecticut’s history of small business innovation and industry.”
Both Representatives are committed to making Connecticut a place where businesses of all sizes can grow and thrive. For more information about Hitchcock visit their website www.hitchcockchair.com.
Hartland – State Representative Bill Simanski (R-62) participated in the 27th Annual Read Aloud Day sponsored by the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation and the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce. This annual event helps teachers promote childhood literacy and a lifelong love of reading by having volunteers from the community join classes in the morning to read a book for the class. Rep. Simanski read ‘The Giant Jumperee’ by Julia Donaldson to Miss Beblowski’s Kindergarten class the Hartland School. He reported, “I believe reading is a critical foundation to learning, Miss Beblowski’s students were engaging and raised their hands at every question, I hope events like this will help stimulate the love of reading for these children.”
New Hartford – On Friday January 19th Representative Bill Simanski (R-62) toured the newly opened Brewery Legitimus with owner Chris Sayer. Craft beer, micro-breweries and farm breweries have become a growing industry in recent years. Currently the brewery employs eight people and has plans to expand in the near future. Chris Sayer explained that the business has benefitted from the attractions in town such as ski slopes, fishing and tubing on the Farmington River. Legislation has only recently begun to catch up to the growth in micro-breweries. This past session the legislature passed a bill establishing farm brewery licenses. There are still regulatory issues that have not been addressed yet, such as the sales limits. Rep. Simanski reported, “With exciting new businesses like Brewery Legitiums, New Hartford really is a town for all seasons. I am committed to improving Connecticut’s regulatory environment for businesses large and small across all industries and will work with my colleagues to enact legislation in order to promote business growth.”