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Business News Roundup, July 1, 2021

Severe drought conditions, falling jobless claims, employer incentives, small business crowdfunding, and Connecticut’s baby bonds are among the top business news items this morning.


Nearly 10 percent of the United States is experiencing severe drought, with 44 percent in some sort of drought condition. The situation creates the risk of crop and pasture losses as well as higher food prices.

Initial jobless claims fell to another new pandemic low of 364,000 last week. Continuing claims for the week ending June 18 rose to 3.47 million, and 14.66 million remain on some sort of unemployment benefit.

Business trends

Employer incentives are becoming increasingly common as businesses struggle to attract workers to open positions. The Wall Street Journal says signing bonuses are being offered more frequently to lower-wage employees, and that companies are being urged to reconsider their remote work policies as employees become more likely to quit if hybrid schedules or other flexibility is not available.

Small businesses have made good use of crowdfunding during the COVID-19 pandemic to help weather the financial impact of the crisis. Companies raised twice as much money from investors through crowdfunding platforms in 2020 as they did in 2019.


Connecticut’s “baby bonds” will officially become available today to babies whose births are covered by HUSKY, the state’s Medicaid program. The bonds can be used for several approved purposes once the child comes of age, including starting a business.

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