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Business News Roundup, February 8, 2021

President Joe Biden and members of his Cabinet are doubling down a large economic stimulus proposal. The measure will reportedly include a child tax credit but may have to scrap a minimum wage hike. Businesses are retooling their forecasts amid an evolving COVID-19 landscape, and taxes are likely to be an even bigger factor in business decisions in the near future. Offshore wind developers are looking to the White House to speed up proposed developments in the United States. And venture capitalists in Connecticut had an active year in 2020 despite the pandemic.


Biden says he plans to “act fast” on a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill, which has won Democratic support but faced stiff Republican opposition. Biden has met with GOP leaders to discuss their counterproposals, but recently criticized these suggestions as insufficient.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has also voiced support for a large stimulus measure, saying it could restore full employment by 2022. A recent Congressional Budget Office report forecasted that the nation’s GDP will recover by mid-year, but that the labor market will be much slower to return to pre-pandemic conditions.

Biden has also taken a more pessimistic tone on his proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour as part of the stimulus measure. He said he doesn’t expect the change to survive as part of legislative debate over the stimulus, but vowed to pursue the measure in a standalone bill.

Democrats are reportedly planning to unveil a child tax credit as part of the stimulus bill today. This legislation would provide credits of $3,600 per child under the age of six and $3,000 per child between the ages of six and 17 for families within certain income thresholds.

Business trends

As new variants of COVID-19 emerge and the vaccine rollout proceeds slowly, businesses are facing challenges in forecasting consumer trends and revenues for the coming year. The Wall Street Journal reports on companies’ expectations for 2021.

Competition between states in trying to attract residents and businesses is likely to intensify due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CNBC reports on how tax rates are likely to be a more crucial factor in these decisions as remote work becomes more common and as states and municipalities will likely increase taxes in response to pandemic-related revenue shortfalls.

Offshore wind developers are hoping the Biden administration will be an ally in their efforts to speed up projects in the Atlantic Ocean. Companies are hoping that a faster federal review process will help accelerate the development of several planned U.S. wind farms.


Venture capital has seen robust growth in Connecticut despite the challenges brought by COVID-19. The Hartford Business Journal reports that state businesses raised more than $700 million in venture funding in 2020, a year-over-year gain of 27.6 percent and the highest level in almost two decades.

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