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Fed Announces Plan to Preserve Low Interest Rates Even When Inflation Picks Up

  • On Thursday, the Federal Reserve announced a new approach to inflation, allowing inflation to run above the 2 percent target before increasing interest rates
  • The move signals that interest rates on home and business loans will likely remain extremely low for several years
  • Fed also shifts stance on employment in response to higher jobless levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic
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Small Businesses More Likely to Expect Longer Recovery in Census Survey

  • Second phase of U.S. Census Bureau survey on COVID-19 impact on small businesses finds respondents more likely to expect a longer road back to normalcy
  • Majority of respondents report negative impact on business, but some positive signs such as healthy cash on hand and minimal missed loan payments
  • Businesses see marketing/sales and additional capital as key future needs
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Connecticut Faces Dilemma on Controlling COVID-19 and Preserving Economy

  • Enforcement of Connecticut’s rigorous COVID-19 rules has helped maintain consistently low infection rates, but this also has the potential to harm the state’s economy
  • Hotels and lodging have not been asked to screen guests, though several have done so voluntarily
  • Health commitment has been used in tourism marketing, but pitches are limited to neighboring states
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Diminished Supply and Demand Cause Tighter Loan Market for Small Businesses

  • The Paycheck Protection Program gave out billions in loans to small businesses suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but other business loans are becoming scarcer
  • Less than one in four loans were approved in July, compared to pre-pandemic levels of around 50 percent
  • Banks are less willing to take on the risk of lending to businesses, while companies have also held off on investment plans
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Businesses Prepare For The Waiting Game As PPP Forgiveness Process Opens

  • SBA opens forgiveness portal for PPP this week, but applicants have been advised to bide their time as further guidance emerges
  • Partial forgiveness options available, and low interest rates can also be attractive to those who need to pay the loan back
  • Questions remain on issues such as tax deductions
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Small Business Optimism Index Falls as Owners Reign In Expectations

  • National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) monthly survey finds small business owners tempering expectations as effects of COVID-19 continue
  • About half of survey respondents report capital outlays, and owners continue to express interest in hiring
  • Business owners less likely to expect conditions to improve in the next six months
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Report Warns of Drop in Consumer Spending if Supplemental Unemployment Ceases

  • JPMorgan Chase Institute study determines that $600 a week supplemental unemployment has helped keep consumer spending levels healthy during COVID-19 pandemic
  • Warning that aggregate spending could drop 4.3 percent if at least some of the benefits are replaced
  • Congress still working on unemployment deal following expiration of enhanced benefits last week
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“You Are Welcome” Campaign Encourages Continuation of Connecticut-R.I. Commerce

  • Campaign encourages Connecticut and Rhode Island residents to continue visiting each others states despite new COVID-19 restriction regarding Rhode Island
  • Recent travel advisory adds Rhode Island to list of states whose residents and visitors must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Connecticut
  • Restriction does not apply to visits of less than 24 hours
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Unemployment Statistics Show Uneven Recovery Across U.S.

  • Some states see rapid recovery in jobless rates, while high unemployment rates persist in Northeast and other areas
  • Friday’s labor report will shed some light on whether recent spike in COVID-19 cases has worsened employment levels
  • Few CEOs expect V-shaped recovery
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A Call For Open Innovation

  • Forbes Technology Council contributor says partnership models established during COVID-19 pandemic should continue in future
  • Benefits include better market research, more business opportunities, and lower R&D costs
  • Tips on how to engage in open innovation
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