Business Report: Business shutdowns, PennEast pipeline, Biden’s plan, interest rates

Business shutdowns, a shrinking economy and record high unemployment. That sums up New Jersey in 2020, according to Focus NJ. In a new report, Focus NJ points out that more than 30% of New Jersey’s small businesses closed either temporarily or permanently last year. While New Jersey’s economy is rebounding from the worst of it, jobs have been slow to come back.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard opening arguments in New Jersey’s legal case against the PennEast Pipeline company, which wants to build a 130-mile pipeline from Pennsylvania to New Jersey. The arguments focused on whether PennEast can use eminent domain to acquire the New Jersey land it needs for the project.

President Joe Biden is outlining his latest plan to support the economy, a $1.8 trillion proposal known as the American Families Plan. It calls for $800 billion in new tax cuts and tax credits for families, paid family and medical leave and free community college across the country. To pay for it all, Biden wants to raise taxes on the wealthy. His suggested changes to the tax code do not include lifting the SALT cap.

Federal Reserve policymakers voted to keep interest rates low to support the economic recovery. The Fed says the economy has shown some improvement but the pandemic is still causing tremendous economic hardship.

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