CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Grillo's Pickles

If you haven't been to the Grillo's Pickles website, you should. There, you'll find the fantastic story of how this company began. We've copied part of it here to save you a click.

Grillo's Pickles began with a pickle cart, just a small wooden stand in downtown Boston, where Travis Grillo and his friends would sell two spears for one dollar. Travis would make the pickles by night using his family's 100-year old recipe - one he'd memorized from making pickles every summer as a kid. In the morning, Travis would bike to the Boston Common and set up the cart with his buddies. They'd hang out all day, urging people to try the simple Grillo family pickle. It was a small business but Travis worked hard for it. He made more pickles, biked more miles, and slept less hours than he ever had before.
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CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Factory Five Racing

Factory Five Racing was founded in 1995. Over the years they have grown from a start-up business in a small garage to become the world's largest manufacturer of "build-it-yourself" component car kits. They employ a full-time crew of about 40 people, and are located in Wareham, Massachusetts (about an hour south of Boston). They make their products right here in the USA, in the heart of New England where American manufacturing was born.
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Fred and Danny Magnanimi grew up watching their father create beautiful, handcrafted jewelry in the family's Cranston, RI jewelry manufacturing business. When the boys grew up, Fred moved to New York and began working on Wall Street as an investment banker, while younger brother Danny, still enamored by the family business, stayed home. Increased competition from overseas businesses created significant challenges for the business, but Danny was confident he could find a way for the family business to evolve and thrive. This was his mission, this was his passion.
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        Alex Mattera: Bankruptcy Law

        We hope you enjoy this edition of Three Things, an effort from Partridge Snow & Hahn that identifies three timely and noteworthy items our attorneys think you could find helpful and interesting.

        In August, the President signed into law the Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA) of 2019 (it will become fully effective February 2020), which includes several meaningful changes for both business and consumer bankruptcies. Highlighted below are three of those changes.

        1. SMALL BUSINESSES. The SBRA creates a new subchapter to Chapter 11, to help small businesses emerge successfully from bankruptcy. The new chapter establishes streamlined procedures and powerful tools to aid small businesses in accessing bankruptcy reorganizational relief. The Act grants small business debtors the exclusive right to propose a plan, in contrast to Chapter 11’s customary provisions for a competing plan process. The Act also eliminates the burden that company owners may not retain their interest in the company without committing substantial new value or other assets to the plan. Instead, owners may retain their interest provided the plan otherwise complies with Chapter 11 requirements. Small business debtors may confirm a plan even over objections by unsecured creditors so long as all projected disposable income is committed to the plan payments for a period of three to five years, which is similar to the streamlined Chapter 13 requirements for individual debtor plans. Changes under the SBRA eliminate many of the prohibitive costs and roadblocks for traditional small business debtors.

        2. DISABLED VETERANS. The Bankruptcy Code has excluded Social Security disability benefits from “disposable income” ever since that calculation was introduced in 2005. Incongruously, veterans’ disability payments were required to be included in disposable income. Under the SBRA, disabled veterans’ benefits will now be excluded. This long overdue change will provide consistency and, more importantly, afford additional bankruptcy protections to our nation’s service members. Unlike the majority of the SBRA, this portion of the Act became effective immediately.

        3. PREFERENTIAL TRANSFER DEFENDANTS. The only thing more frustrating than receiving incomplete payment from a company is then receiving a demand letter from that company’s bankruptcy trustee for the return of that payment. Payments made within 90 days of a debtor’s bankruptcy filing are subject to subsequent avoidance and turnover as preferential transfers, or “preferences.” Under the SBRA, trustees will now be required to investigate and consider a creditor’s defenses prior to making demand or filing a complaint, reducing the amount sought in appropriate circumstances. In cases where the trustee does bring a claim, any claim under $25,000 (double the current amount) will be required to be brought in the creditor’s home district, thereby reducing the burden on the creditor to litigate (or be defaulted) in an inconvenient forum. For all those companies facing turnover demands, the Act brings welcome relief in the form of increased protections.

        For a shareable version of these Three Things, click here. For more information on these or any related topics, feel free to contact Alex Mattera or Geri Rosman.