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Business News Roundup, February 23, 2021

Some small business groups are supporting the Biden administration’s economic stimulus proposal, while bond markets show a recovery that may impact future federal spending decisions. Amid the emergence of COVID-19 variants, the FDA is recommending shorter trials for vaccine modifications and some Connecticut residents are disappointed in a change in vaccine distribution strategy. In business trends, manufacturers have been playing catch-up with consumer demand and more entrepreneurs are discovering opportunities in outer space.


Interest rates on long-term bonds are increasing, although they remain historically low. The trend reflects optimism by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that inflation will remain manageable as the Biden administration pursues economic stimulus and other spending packages, but could lead to a more cautious approach in the future.

The Food and Drug Administration is recommending that COVID-19 vaccine developers use smaller trials, similar to those done for annual flu shots, to protect against variants of the virus instead of lengthier processes. This guidance comes amid concerns that existing vaccines will be less effective against variants, although drugmakers are already taking steps to modify their vaccines to address this threat.

Invest in America Action and Small Business for America’s Future have collected signatures from nearly 330 small business owners and chamber of commerce leaders supporting President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. The letter emphasizes the ongoing struggles of many small business owners, particularly women and people of color, and expresses support for small business financing programs included in the plan.

Business trends

Manufacturers that cut back on operations at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic have been struggling to keep up with consumer demand, which rebounded more quickly than expected. Issues such as labor shortages, supply chain holdups, and a lack of materials such as semiconductors are also creating challenges.

More entrepreneurs are looking up, as the billionaire-led space companies Blue Origin and SpaceX have paved the way for smaller startups to get into the field. These companies are taking part in the larger “space economy” involving fields such as satellite technology.


Some groups are expressing anger and disappointment after Governor Ned Lamont announced that Connecticut will break with national guidance and pursue an age-based distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. The strategy nixes the original plan to vaccinate frontline essential workers and people with pre-existing health conditions, and advocates for these residents say the new plan forces people with a greater risk of contracting the disease to wait longer.

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