Financial executives’ warnings on the debt ceiling, a call for stronger COVID-19 vaccine requirements, the effectiveness of existing mandates, falling unemployment claims, outdoor dining investments, a Connecticut farmer resource, and Connecticut manufacturing priorities are among the top business news items this morning.
After meeting with President Joe Biden, financial executives warned that the risk of a default on U.S. obligations is already harming the economy. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said shortly after the meeting that he is willing to allow an extension of the debt ceiling into December.
The Biden administration is planning a series of meetings with employers to encourage businesses to strengthen COVID-19 vaccine requirements ahead of a planned mandate for employers with at least 100 employees. White House officials say Biden will ask business leaders to establish a vaccine requirement without an option to submit to regular testing instead.
Existing COVID-19 vaccine mandates are having a significant effect, as workers are reluctant to risk their employment by ducking the requirement. Factors such as illnesses or deaths in the workforce related to the virus have also had an effect on encouraging people to get the dose.
Initial jobless claims fell to 326,000 last week, breaking a three-week trend of increasing claims. Continuing claims fell to 2.71 million in the week before, with 4.17 million people receiving some sort of unemployment benefit.
Restaurants have been making significant investments in outdoor dining spaces to accommodate customers who still want open-air options this year. The trend follows more improvised efforts in the food service industry to put together options like outdoor heating and tents.
The University of Connecticut’s College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources has established a new educational and marketing campaign to link Quiet Corner farmers with their customers. Grown Connected helps support farmers who sell through farmers’ markets, farm stands, and co-ops, and includes a website with resources such as farm and farmer profiles.
Colin Cooper, Connecticut’s chief manufacturing officer, says the state’s manufacturing industry is working to change perceptions about working in manufacturing while also fostering greater technological innovations. He says Connecticut’s manufacturers are also looking for opportunities in growing fields such as electric vehicles and renewable energy.