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Business News Roundup, April 19, 2021

A move toward a lower corporate tax rate increase, expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines, an initiative to fight COVID-19 variants, the demise of shopping malls, and a more costly estimate for State Pier work are among the top business news items this morning.


Senate Democrats appear to be coalescing around the idea of a smaller increase in the corporate tax rate, bringing it from 21 percent to 25 percent instead of the 28 percent rate pitched as part of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan. The smaller increase could serve part of an effort to win bipartisan support for the measure, although Republicans have opposed changing the corporate tax rate to fund infrastructure initiatives.

Eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines has expanded to all adults in the United States, as the last states opened full eligibility Monday to meet a deadline set by the Biden administration two weeks ago. More than half of all eligible U.S. adults have received at least one dose of a vaccine.

The Biden administration has announced a $1.7 billion initiative to combat more infectious COVID-19 variants. The funding will help the Centers for Disease Control, states, and other jurisdictions to detect and track variants through genomic sequencing efforts, and Connecticut is slated to receive $2.86 million as an initial disbursement in early May.

Business trends

The Washington Post examines how COVID-19 has accelerated a pre-pandemic demise of department stores, with 200 closing in the past year and another 800 expected to close their doors by 2025. These closures have a ripple effect on the retail market and general economy, while also potentially raising new opportunities to repurpose vacant malls with amenities such as ample parking and easy transportation access.


Connecticut officials have updated the price tag for an overhaul of State Pier in New London to support offshore wind operations, anticipating that the project will cost $235.5 million – a considerable increase from the initial $157 million estimate. The price includes $204 million for construction and $31 million for soft costs, with $75 million coming from private sources and the state expected to finance the rest.

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