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The Hartford Area Business Economists group (HABE) was founded in 1966 as the 6th chapter of the National Association of Business Economists (NABE). While topics of discussion and the composition of the state’s economy have changed substantially over the years, the group’s goal has remained very much intact. HABE seeks to provide an unbiased forum for the sharing of ideas that pertain to the economic growth of the Hartford region, Connecticut, and New England.

A common misconception about the group is that attendance is restricted to those in the economics profession. In reality, the membership of HABE is composed of professionals and experts in a wide variety of fields such as urban and rural development, business, real estate, politics, and of course economics. This diverse composition is a major asset to the group. The relaxed environment produces a depth of discussion that is both unique and insightful. As the business world becomes increasingly dominated by digital interaction, HABE provides a valuable opportunity for networking and spirited personal discussion. From September to June the group hosts a series of monthly meetings at Carbone’s Ristorante in the south end of Hartford where we enjoy a networking lunch followed by a speaker, questions, and an open discussion. Topics have recently included:

•The Connecticut labor market and economic outlook
•Hartford-Springfield regional cooperation
• Connecticut’s unfunded liabilities
•The state’s economic development strategy

HABE also seeks to foster the next generation of students with a focus on economics through scholarship and outreach activity. In the past, students from Central Connecticut State University, the University of Hartford, and the University of Connecticut have been awarded scholarships or sponsored to attend meetings alongside their professors. We are committed to Connecticut’s scholars and to engaging the colleges and universities within the area. We recognize that Connecticut is uniquely positioned in the New England knowledge corridor and our institutes of higher learning provide us with a competitive advantage.

Businesses small and large are constantly in search of information that will help to both guide their decision making and gain a perspective on future economic conditions. HABE is an opportunity to gain this perspective through personal conversations with economic and business leaders. As the group has for over forty years, it will continue to monitor and discuss changing business conditions in both Hartford and the state, providing valuable insight and stimulating discussion. The group’s strong reputation has often enabled us to feature speakers that are nationally recognized but still based in the state or region.

I encourage you to attend a meeting and experience why HABE has remained a strong and vibrant organization for so many years. The conversations at HABE are a vital part of understanding both where the state has come from and where it soon will be. Please consider becoming a part of that conversation. I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event.

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