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Business News Roundup, January 25, 2021

COVID-19 vaccination challenges, a Buy American executive order, growth in manufacturing and SPACs, and a variety of Connecticut items are included in this morning’s roundup of business news.


The supply of COVID-19 vaccines could be a hurdle in reaching President Joe Biden’s goal of distributing 100 million doses in his first 100 days in office. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control, says that while the administration is working with manufacturers to ramp up vaccine production, a lack of data on available vaccine supply is making it more difficult to coordinate with states on their vaccine distribution efforts. New, more infectious variants of the virus could also pose a challenge in the coming months.

Biden has announced that he will sign a “Buy American” executive order ensuring that federal spending is dedicated to goods made in the United States, with a pledge to close existing loopholes that allow companies to qualify for domestic preference while still using offshore production and labor. The order will also take steps such as establishing a senior leader to oversee the policy approach, directing a cross-agency review of domestic preferences, and requiring agencies to actively scout for U.S. suppliers.

Business trends

Manufacturing in the United States has recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic more quickly than expected, with greater consumer demand for home goods and a variety of other products leading to greater demand. However, this trend has also led to issues such as longer wait times and higher prices for materials.

Special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, have become an increasingly common source of financing to help private companies go public. The Wall Street Journal has published a feature on these companies and how they have boomed during the changing economic trends occasioned by the pandemic.


Speaking to the Connecticut Business and Industry Association recently, Governor Ned Lamont said he does not intend to increase taxes or cut social services for his two-year budget due Feb. 10. Lamont also assured business leaders that vaccine distribution in the state is proceeding well, although the state has the capacity to administer more doses.

A feature in the New Haven Register looks at the issue of high-speed internet access, which is lacking many parts of Connecticut. The article covers both state and federal plans for broadband expansion.

A market research firm has released a report showing just how hard-hit Connecticut accommodations have been by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lodging revenues in 2020 were approximately half what they were in 2019.

Loosened laws allowed food service businesses to offer alcohol beverages via takeout or delivery, helping restaurants weather the pandemic and even creating opportunities for new businesses. There is growing support to allow this option to remain once the pandemic passes.

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