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Business News Roundup, July 16, 2021

A boycott of an SBA nominee, a call for greater investment in caregiving, increasing demand for retail and vehicles, and cybersecurity liability protections for Connecticut businesses are among the top business news items this morning.


Democrats on the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship are accusing Republicans of “playing politics” in boycotting the Biden administration’s nomination of Dilawar Syed as deputy administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Republicans have been critical of Syed’s seat on the board of Emgage Action, a Muslim-American advocacy group which has recently issued statements of Israel; Democrats countered by saying that Syed has ample experience for the job and has won the endorsement of numerous business organizations, including Jewish groups.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is advocating for greater investment in caregiving, including child care and elder care, to help spur recovery in the labor market. Raimondo says such investments would help assist women in returning to the workforce after millions left during the COVID-19 pandemic, often due to family caregiving responsibilities.

Business trends

Following a 1.7 percent drop in May, retail spending unexpectedly increased by 0.6 percent in June. Economists credit consumer trends such as government stimulus, greater savings accounts, and more comfort shopping due to COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

Demand for vehicles has boomed as a shortage of computer chips slows new car production and competition increases for used vehicles. Low interest rates, higher personal savings and income from government stimulus, and the ongoing economic recovery are also fueling demand.


Governor Ned Lamont has signed legislation to strengthen cybersecurity protections in the private sector and invest in the state government’s own protections against cyberattacks. The bill offers businesses legal protection against punitive damage if personal or restricted information is accessed through a digital breach, as long as the businesses show they have made reasonable efforts to maintain appropriate cybersecurity measures.

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