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Business News Roundup, July 30, 2021

A concerning report on the Delta variant, increased consumer spending, challenges for child care businesses and restaurants, new mask rules for some parts of Connecticut, and projections on Connecticut’s recreational cannabis tax revenue are among the top business news items this morning.


An internal report from the Centers for Disease Control raises concerns about the severity of the Delta variant of COVID-19, saying that it is more contagious and more likely to break through vaccine protections than previous versions of the virus, although such breakthrough cases remain rare. The report also suggests that vaccinated people who contract a breakthrough case can carry as much of the contagion as unvaccinated people, but contribute less to transmission of the variant.

Consumer spending rose 1 percent in June as relaxed business restrictions led people to spend more on goods and services. Inflation also continued to climb, with an inflation index climbing 3.5 percent from the previous year.

Business trends

Child care centers, which were already struggling to attract and retain workers before the COVID-19 pandemic, are encountering challenges while trying to rehire staffers lost to layoffs during the crisis. The situation could lead to more difficulties for working parents, particularly women, as child care needs have often been cited as a hurdle preventing these workers from returning to the labor market.

Restaurant owners are concerned about the potential effect of the Delta variant and renewed mask mandates, according to a Washington Post article. After a challenging 2020, eateries fear that customer wariness about in-person dining or refusal to accept safety restrictions could cause another downturn in business.


Three Connecticut counties have been advised by the CDC and public health officials that revised guidance on indoor mask wearing applies to them due to elevated risk of COVID-19 transmission. People in Hartford, New Haven, and New London counties are being asked to wear a mask indoors regardless of their vaccination status.

Connecticut’s recreational cannabis industry is projected to raise $20.4 million in tax revenue in its first year and $55 million in its fourth year, according to the state’s Office of Fiscal Analysis. Connecticut’s retail cannabis sales are expected to begin by the end of 2022.

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