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Business News Roundup, May 20, 2021

A potential revision to fed policy, alternate infrastructure proposals, falling jobless claims, small business labor struggles, strategies in meeting a returning surge of customers, an agreement between offshore wind and commercial fishermen, and Bridgeport’s new offshore wind role are among the top business news items this morning.


Recent minutes of the Federal Reserve’s April meeting shows that officials are open to tightening monetary policy if the United States’ economic recovery continues at a fast clip. The Fed has been maintaining its bond purchase strategy and policy of keeping interest rate near zero, and is also set to allow inflation to run about its 2 percent benchmark level due to the anticipation that rising prices will be a short-term trend.

Senate Republicans again met with Biden administration officials to discuss the White House’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal on Tuesday, but did not bring their own plan to the table as expected. One leading Republican previously floated a $568 billion plan limited to traditional infrastructure, House Republicans recently pitched a $400 billion plan, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers has suggested a $1 trillion proposal.

Initial jobless claims have again fallen to a new pandemic low, dropping to 444,000 last week. Continuing claims increased to 3.75 million, but the number of people some sort of benefit fell to just under 16 million.

Business trends

The Wall Street Journal looks at how labor shortages have been having a big effect on small businesses. These companies have been facing challenges competing with larger businesses that have started offering pay increases to attract workers, while also having smaller workforces to complete necessary tasks when job openings are not filled.

Businesses have seen a surge of returning customers following revised guidance from the Centers for Disease Control saying people vaccinated against COVID-19 can go without masks indoors. Companies have been adopting strategies such as expanding employee roles, adopting more tech solutions, and increasing prices.


Ørsted and Eversource, partners in the effort to overhaul New London’s State Pier into a staging facility for offshore wind operations, has struck an agreement with a commercial fishing consortium seeking to balance the interests of the two industries. The agreement supports scouting operations and efforts to provide safe navigation on the three installations Ørsted and Eversource are developing.

Vineyard Wind has chosen office space and leased space at Barnum Landing in Bridgeport for its Park City Wind project. The project will be located off Martha’s Vineyard and provide 804 megawatts of energy to Connecticut once completed.

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