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Business News Roundup, January 14, 2021

It’s a big day for news affecting the business world, ranging from a historic second presidential impeachment to a Connecticut investigation into Amazon.


The House of Representatives voted 232-197 in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump on a charge that he helped incite a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last week, making Trump the first president to be impeached twice. The matter now moves to the Senate for a trial, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he is open to the possibility of convicting Trump but rejected calls to convene the Senate before Jan. 19, one day before Trump leaves office, when the chamber is next scheduled to be in session.

Senator Chuck Schumer, who is set to become Majority Leader in the Senate, is reportedly asking President-elect Joe Biden to pursue a new economic stimulus package of more than $1.3 trillion. Biden will detail his stimulus plan in a televised address tonight. Reuters is reporting that he will propose a $1.5 trillion bill that includes $1,400 direct payments and significant aid for minority communities.

First-time unemployment claims jumped to 965,000 last week, a significant increase from the previous week.

The Centers for Disease Control is projecting that the early months of 2021 may be some of the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a significant number of deaths occurring before vaccines are widely distributed. The CDC forecasts that deaths will increase nearly 25 percent in the next three weeks, with up to 477,000 total fatalities by Feb. 6.

Business trends

Biotech startups proved popular in 2020, with drug manufacturers acquiring 19 new companies during the year. The Wall Street Journal reports that large companies often seek to buy startups before they go public and become more highly valued.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to record store closings, with retail vacancies soaring. The situation offers an opportunity for new retailers, as commercial landlords are slashing their rents in an effort to attract new tenants.

A report from McKinsey suggests that fossil fuel demand will never return to pre-pandemic levels, as low cost renewables will outcompete oil and gas within a decade. Renewables made up a larger share of the energy market than fossil fuels in Europe for the first time in 2020.


Governor Ned Lamont has pledged that he won’t cut municipal aid to Connecticut’s towns and cities as part of an effort to close a $4.3 billion deficit in the state’s next two-year budget. Advocates for Connecticut’s municipalities have argued that reductions in municipal aid would be extremely harmful, especially as towns and cities experience losses or deferrals in property tax revenue.

Connecticut’s attorney general is taking on an e-commerce giant. William Tong is investigating whether Amazon’s e-book practices are anti-competitive.

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