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Business News Roundup, Aug. 16, 2021

Federal Reserve planning on ending asset purchases, vaccine requirements at restaurants, partnerships between Big Oil and small businesses, a cottage food licensing program in Connecticut, and a fourth high-risk Connecticut county for COVID-19 transmission are among the top business news items this morning.


Federal Reserve officials are looking to speed up their timeline on ending asset purchases, with some calling for the practice to terminate by the middle of 2022. This strategy would allow the Fed to raise interest rates quickly if the economic recovery proceeds more rapidly than expected.

Business trends

Although businesses were largely reticent to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of entering the premises after vaccines started to become widely available earlier this year, restaurants are increasingly enforcing this as a requirement. The shift comes both as a response to local mandates set up in response to the spread of the virus’s Delta variant and as a voluntary step from businesses that fear they won’t be able to endure another shutdown.

As major oil companies shift to embrace more renewable energy in their portfolios, they are looking for startup businesses that can assist them in this goal. Businesses like BP and Shell are improving their venture capital outreach to approach early-stage companies specializing in low-carbon technologies.


Connecticut’s cottage food licensing program is gaining popularity, with more than 500 people holding a license. The program allows entrepreneurs to sell food prepared at home after paying a modest fee and meeting certain health requirements.

Middlesex County is now designated as a high risk county for COVID-19 transmission, the fourth county in Connecticut to be upgraded to this risk category. The Connecticut Department of Public Health is urging all residents to wear masks in public indoor venues, regardless of their vaccination status, and for individuals with elevated health risks to avoid indoor gatherings with a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

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