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Business News Roundup, May 21, 2021

A global minimum corporate tax rate proposal, PPP endgame, growth in the steel industry, a Fed report on the impact of supplemental unemployment, a potential shift from vertical axis wind turbines, and Connecticut economic plans are among the top business news items this morning.


In its effort to pursue a global minimum corporate tax rate, the Treasury Department is proposing a 15 percent floor. This rate is lower than the 21 percent charged in the United States as well as the level the U.S. has been pursuing for the foreign income of companies based stateside, but it could also make it easier to bring more nations onto an agreement.

Borrowers are facing uncertainties over whether or not they will receive a Paycheck Protection Program loan as lenders work through thousands of outstanding applications for a dwindling pool of remaining funds. The U.S. Small Business Administration says qualifying businesses can also continue to apply through participating community development institutions before the program’s May 31 deadline.

Business trends

The steel industry is experiencing a strong recovery as demand and prices surge, with steel mills stepping up production and hiring. American companies have also seen reduced competition after several presidential administrations have imposed tariffs that have cut down on cheaper imports.

While enhanced unemployment benefits have come under fire as a potential source of the labor shortage businesses are facing, research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco suggests that these benefits have had minimal impact on employment decisions. A working paper from the Fed determined that only about one in 28 workers declines a job they would normally accept due to the extra $300-a-week benefit, which is set to expire in September.

Vertical axis wind turbines have the potential to supplant traditional designs in offshore wind farms, according to recent research. A study determined that the more cylindrical vertical turbines could result in a 15 percent increase in power output from deep sea or coastal wind installations.


Governor Ned Lamont spoke about Connecticut’s economy during his latest COVID-19 briefing, saying the state is projected to have a $470 billion surplus and a $3 billion rainy day fund. Lamont said the state will also be dedicating $1 billion in federal funding to a variety of initiatives, including an equity investment fund for small businesses.

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