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Business News Roundup, March 12, 2021

The American Rescue Plan becomes law, an ocean mapping business proves successful with fundraising, proposed changes to Connecticut’s workers’ compensation program, an early success Connecticut’s revamped incentive program, and a newly formed alliance to represent the fitness industry are among the top business news items this morning.


President Joe Biden has signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, following it with a primetime address marking the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden directed states to have COVID-19 vaccines available to all U.S. adults by May 1 and set a goal of a return to normalcy by July 4.

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A company described as the “SpaceX equivalent for the ocean” has announced that it has raised $8 million in seed funding. Bedrock Ocean Exploration has a goal of mapping a greater area of the ocean floor, 80 percent of which has not been charted. Better ocean mapping can assist a variety of industries, such as cable laying and offshore wind installations.


Two bills put before the Connecticut would make major changes to the workers’ compensation system, establishing that a worker who contracted COVID-19 while on the job if they were unable to work from home for up to two weeks before contracting the virus. The proposals have raised opposition from some business groups, who say it goes too far in broadening access to the system and will create excessive costs for businesses.

The state’s new incentive system has seen some early success in job creation, as Farmington-based WellSpark Health plans to add nearly 290 jobs to its existing workforce of 70 due to the state perks. Governor Ned Lamont recently announced changes to the incentive program aimed at helping smaller companies add jobs instead of trying to lure large companies to Connecticut.

The Connecticut Fitness Alliance, a newly formed coalition of gyms and fitness centers in the state, is pressing for more state and federal assistance for an industry that has suffered major revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The group is also hoping to urge Connecticut’s congressional representatives to support a $30 billion relief package offering targeted assistance to these businesses.

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