Room for negotiation on the corporate tax rate, a call for relaxed indoor mask mandates, a new small business relief effort in Connecticut, a report advocating for more state-level COVID-19 relief, and the early completion of a national COVID-19 vaccination goal in Connecticut are among the top business news items this morning.
President Joe Biden says he would be open to seeing the corporate tax rate set somewhere between 25 percent and 28 percent to help pay for his proposed $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, creating room for negotiation as the White House backs the latter figure but moderate Democrats have signaled support for the former. Republicans have been uniformly opposed to making changes to a 2017 tax law, which included lowering the corporate tax rate to 21 percent, in order to fund infrastructure upgrades.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration during the Trump administration, said in a Thursday interview that the Centers for Disease Control should start to consider lifting indoor mask mandates as COVID-19 vaccinations proceed and test positivity rates fall. Gottlieb said aggressively easing such rules could make it easier to reimplement them in the winter if necessary.
The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development announced that it will debut the Connecticut Fund, a $150 million initiative funded equally by bonding and federal COVID-19 relief funds, to assist small businesses. The multi-year initiative will offer a range of support options, with at least half of the funding going to underserved entrepreneurs.
A report from the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis, the University of Connecticut’s economic think tank, is urging the state to invest federal funds it will receive through the American Rescue Plan into COVID-19 relief efforts rather than balancing state and local budgets. The report anticipates that pandemic relief efforts would add 30,000 new jobs to Connecticut’s economy and $2.6 billion in annual household income.
Governor Ned Lamont announced that Connecticut is on track for 70 percent of its adult population to have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by today. President Joe Biden has set the goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the United States adult population by July 4.