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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        COVID-19 Advisory Group

        COVID-19's impact on business and everyday life for the foreseeable future will be significant. Partridge Snow & Hahn has assembled a team of attorneys with diverse practice areas who regularly advise companies on how to handle these impacts from both a legal and business perspective. 

        Find COVID-19 information related to:

        CARES Act 
        Charitable & Nonprofit Organizations 
        Cyberliability & Data Security 
        Employment & Labor 
        Intellectual Property & Technology 
        Public Finance
        Real Estate
        Reopening Massachusetts
        Reopening Rhode Island
        Current Updates:
        • September 21, 2020 - Rhode Island Commerce revised the eligibility criteria for the Restore RI grant program to allow more small businesses to receive aid. Read details here.
        • September 16, 2020 - The Department of Labor (“DOL”) published a new temporary rule (“New Rule”) revising and clarifying its previous April 1, 2020 temporary rule (“Prior Rule”) concerning the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). Read more.
        • August 28, 2020 - The IRS issued limited guidance on the payroll tax deferral that was part of President Trump's August 8th executive order. Learn more here.
        • August 28, 2020 - Through executive order 20-67 , Rhode Island has extended its Phase III restrictions through September 28, 2020, including but not limited to its business operation restrictions and travel restrictions.
        • August 27, 2020 - The Department of Labor (DOL) added frequently asked questions 98-100  regarding FFCRA leave involving school closures. Specifically, the DOL has now said that employees are entitled to FFCRA leave for days taken to care for a child who is required to attend school remotely on an alternate day or hybrid basis. This new FAQ 98 directly contradicts FAQ 22, which clearly states such intermittent leave may only be provided if the employer agrees. Employers are encouraged to watch this issue closely given that the DOL may change its position prior to the start of the school year. The DOL’s new FAQs also specify that where the school system gives the parents the option for in-person learning and the parents opt for at-home or hybrid learning, none of the time caring for the child during remote learning is eligible for FFCRA because the school is not “closed”. While this guidance is consistent with prior guidance issued by the DOL, employers must remember that they will not be eligible to receive a tax credit for time off paid associated with optional hybrid learning.
        • August 25, 2020 - Employers must be wary of how state-ordered travel restrictions can adversely impact their workforce. Read about the current restrictions and strategies to address potential staffing problems here.
        • August 11, 2020 - A federal court in New York (“Court”) recently struck down a number of important provisions contained within the Final Rule issued by the Department of Labor (“DOL”) interpreting the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (“FFCRA”), sending employers scrambling to understand whether the ruling has national impact and how to adjust their company policies applying the FFCRA. Read more here.
        • August 4, 2020 - The U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) and the Department of the Treasury released long-awaited FAQs providing guidance to both lenders and borrowers on Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loan forgiveness. Click here for details.
        • July 31, 2020 - Rhode Island Commerce will begin accepting applications for “Restore RI” grants for small businesses on Monday August 3, 2020, Click here to learn more.
        • July 29, 2020 - Rhode Island Governor, Gina Raimondo, extended Phase III through Executive Order 20-58 until August 28, 2020. The only alteration to the order is lowering the normal group size allowed to 15 people.
        • July 30, 2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost every business and nonprofit organization. To better weather the storm, in addition to traditional fundraising techniques, charitable organizations should consider expanding their fundraising and mission reach by engaging in commercial co-ventures with for-profit entities, joint ventures with nonprofit and for-profit entities, or possibly merging with other nonprofits to assure long-term viability of their charitable purposes. PS&H counsel Liz Manchester and Russell Stein detail each of these options here.
        • July 22, 2020 - Two bills have recently been introduced in the U.S. Senate to help state and local bond issuers deal with the financial hardships caused by COVID-19. Click here to read more.
        • July 22, 2020 - After delay due to the COVID-19 State of Emergency, the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation (DBR) has opened the application period for businesses that would lke to obtain a license to operate one of 6 new medical marijuana dispensaries. Read PS&H partner, John Ottaviani's, blog post here.
        • July 21, 2020 - Massachusetts Governor, Charlie Baker, has extended Chapter 65 of the Acts of 2020, An Act Providing for a Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures During the COVID-19 Emergency, by 60 days through October 17, 2020. Click here to read more.
        • July 16, 2020 - The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses online in order to survive. In many cases, businesses had no plans to be online. Others were forced to move online more quickly than planned. In order to assist these businesses, we have prepared a series of articles discussing some of the more important legal issues to address when moving your business online. Click here for the full series.
        • July 15, 2020 - The Rhode Island Governor, Gina Raimondo, announced a new small businesses grant program to be administered through Rhode Island Commerce. PS&H attorney, David DiSegna, highlights anticipated eligibility criteria and likely application requirements. Click here to learn more.
        Phase 3: Reopening Massachusetts
        • July 6, 2020 - Massachusetts updated its requirements for several specific industries, including office spaces. View the new Safety Standards for Office Spaces here
        Three things of note:

        (1) The occupancy limits are more relaxed. Now the standards require no more than 10 persons per 1000 square feet of accessible office space and no more than 50% of occupancy limit (if any) in the permit. In other words, there is no limit relating to the prior number of workers present in the office. Such occupancy count must include customers, staff and other workers.

        (2) The definition of “close contact” for tracing/quarantine purposes is also more relaxed. “Close contact” is now defined to be within 6 feet for 15 or more minutes (rather than 10 minutes, as previously defined).

        (3) There is now a specific requirement Employers screen for certain symptoms, which include the new ones accepted by the CDC, such as runny nose. In addition, note that “fever” is now defined as a temperature over 100.0 not the usual 100.4 degrees.

        The employer training requirement still remains. It is worth noting the training – as with last step – must include what symptoms are considered “severe” enough to seek medical attention and what underlying conditions make an employee more susceptible to contracting and suffering a severe case of the virus.
        • July 6, 2020 -  Step 1 of Phase III of the Massachusetts reopening plan begins (except for Boston, which will start July 13). The Order can ve viewed here. Step 3 will be bifurcated into two steps with Step 2 commencing on a later (unannounced) date. This new Step allows for more businesses and other organizations to re-open to the public following closure due to COVID-19, including certain educational institutes, fitness centers and health clubs, museums, and movie theaters. This Step also allows for larger social gatherings, increasing indoor gathering to 8 persons per 1000 square feet up to 25 persons in a single enclosed indoor space and permitting 25% of the maximum permitted occupancy of an outdoor gathering in enclosed, permitted, or leased spaces. Bars, amusement parks, wineries, stadiums, and street festivals are among the businesses and organizations that will be part of Step 2 of the Phase 3 reopening plan.
        • June 22, 2020 -  Step 2 of the Phase 2 Re-Opening plan commenced. Among other things, this Step increased the maximum occupancy for Offices Spaces. Businesses and other organizations were now allowed 50% of either (1) the maximum occupancy of the building per the certificate of occupancy or the state building code, or (2) the typical occupancy of the business or organization as of March 1, 2020. The Order can be viewed here.
        • May 18, 2020 - The governor of Massachusetts is opening certain non-essential businesses starting today. See: Non-essential construction and manufacturing businesses open 12:00am May 19th; hair salons and barbers are set for opening for hair-cutting services only on May 25th; Massachusetts offices outside of Boston are set for a May 25th and Boston offices are set to open June 1. Businesses reopening must comply with certain new safety guidelines applicable to all businesses (such as having a specific written plan and hanging certain posters). It is important to understand that essential businesses will also have to comply with the new general guidelines by May 25th.
        The materials posted on the Massachusetts re-opening website indicate the governor’s intention to include mandatory industry-specific restrictions, such as capacity limits for offices and safety glasses for hair stylists. The materials posted on the website also indicate that the industry-specific restrictions will apply to essential businesses within that category, but allot a greater time to comply (for example, essential office businesses are currently planned to have until July 1st to comply with the planned new restrictions specific to offices).
        Phase 3: Reopening Rhode Island
        • August 28, 2020 - Through executive order 20-67 , Rhode Island has extended its Phase III restrictions through September 28, 2020, including but not limited to its business operation restrictions and travel restrictions.
        • July 29, 2020 -  The governor extended Phase III through Executive Order 20-58 until August 28, 2020. The only alteration to the order is lowering the normal group size allowed to 15 people.
        • July 8, 2020 - The Rhode Island Regulations for COVID-19 violations have been amended to increase the penalties for noncompliance to $500 per day of violation. The updated regulations can be viewed here.
        • June 30, 2020 - Phase III of Rhode Island’s reopening starts today. Under the new order, office capacity is increased to 66% of the workforce at one time. Venues open to the public will be allowed to open at 66% (keeping six feet distance) and have a limit of 125 people indoors (250 outdoors). Indoor places of public interaction (such as recreation, cultural institutions, movie theaters, bowling allies, and museums businesses) can operate at 1 person per 100 square feet (66% if seated) with 6 foot distancing. The travel restrictions are now greater, which of course will have some impact on employees and will likely increase FFCRA requests. The order requires individuals returning to RI from a state with a higher than 5% positive test result (as identified by the RIDOH ) to quarantine for 14 days or until the employee has a negative test result after their return. The restriction does not apply to work-related travel. Employers are reminded they can require employees to obtain the negative test rather than take off two weeks of work following their vacation.
        • May 29, 2020 - The Rhode Island COVID19 Phase II opening order, 20-40  has been released and will be effective June 1st through June 29th. Highlights include:
          • (a) The 14 day travel quarantine only applies where the travel is to a foreign country or domestic location with a shelter order (there are exceptions for travel into RI for work or travel outside of RI for medical care, grocery shopping/necessity, childcare and work on boats).
          • (b) The much anticipated capacity limit that applies to offices works as follows:
            • (i) Up to 33% of workers can work onsite at the same time. Unlike Massachusetts, the (often much greater) capacity limits in a permit cannot be used and this appears to require an employer to take the total number of staff, divide by 3, and use that as the max number of workers that can work at one time. The order does not require the calculation be done using the highest number of employees previously present at work and it is likely that it would be permissible to use the workforce number prior to the shutdown (if a substantial number of employees were laid off).
            • (ii) Regardless of (i), employers are always permitted to have at least 15 staff members onsite (good news for companies with less than 45 employees).
            • (iii) Visitors, clients and others are not counted. However, because the word “workers” was chosen, it appears staffing firm employees or regular 1099 contractors do count.
            • (iv) Interestingly, for those offices who had a higher number of workers work during Phase I than would now be permissible, these employers are grandfathered and can continue to have the number of workers present without reduction. However, these employers appear to be unable to increase the number of workers in Phase II. This is a very significant and positive exception for many businesses operating beyond the new 1/3 capacity limit.
          • (c) Office based business, like personal services businesses and gyms (but not all businesses), must follow the requirements and guidelines on the reopening website. This is similar to how the order in Massachusetts incorporates guidance and will require diligent monitoring of the website. Of note are the current office guidelines apply the restaurant rules to workplace cafeterias, limit conference rooms – regardless of size/spacing – to 15 people, and require spacing out desks by 6 feet or having barriers.
          • (d) Groups of 15 are now allowed, salons will open with some restrictions, restaurants are allowed to have indoor dining at 50% capacity, religious services are allowed with capacity limits and indoor entertainment is still closed (like movie theaters).
        • May 8, 2020 - The Rhode Island governor has issued several new orders that affect Rhode Island businesses. Importantly, all Rhode Island businesses are now subject to regulations promulgated by the Rhode Island department of health pursuant to Executive Order 20-32. Click here for details.
        • May 7, 2020 - Rhode Island is entering into Phase 1 of the plan to slowly reopen the state. We are ready to help you understand and implement the new COVID-19 requirements. Our experienced lawyers can help you develop the written COVID-19 Control Plan that you are required to have in effect to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your workplace. Further guidance is available at  
        • May 7, 2020 - The East Bay Community Action Program (EBCAP) have opened two COVID-19 testing sites in East Providence and Newport, which are open to any Rhode Island Resident by appointment. The testing is for people with symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. A telehealth visit with an EBCAP provider is required prior to making an appointment. All are welcome to call, regardless of insurance or immigration status. EBCAP has the capacity to translate into multiple languages including sign language. Click here for details.                                   
        Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)
        • August 4, 2020 - The U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) and the Department of the Treasury released long-awaited FAQs providing guidance to both lenders and borrowers on Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loan forgiveness. Click here for details.
        • June 15, 2020 - The Federal Reserve Board has expanded the number and type of governmental entities eligible to utilize the Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF) that was established to help state and local governments manage cash flow pressures caused by the coronavirus. Click here for details.
        • June 3, 2020 - The Senate has passed legislation providing more flexibility to recipients of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. Read more.
        • May 14, 2020 - The SBA has extended the deadline to "return" PPP loans to May 18th. Question: An SBA interim final rule posted on May 8, 2020 provided that any borrower who applied for a PPP loan and repays the loan in full by May 14, 2020 will be deemed by SBA to have made the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request in good faith. Is it possible for a borrower to obtain an extension of the May 14, 2020 repayment date? Answer: Yes, SBA is extending the repayment date for this safe harbor to May 18, 2020, to give borrowers an opportunity to review and consider FAQ #46. Borrowers do not need to apply for this extension. This extension will be promptly implemented through a revision to the SBA’s interim final rule providing the safe harbor. View full version of the Paycheck Protection Plan Loans Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
        • April 30, 2020 - There has been recent attention, both in the media and by the Small Business Administration (SBA), on the good faith certification required by applicants for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. PS&H attorneys David DiSegna and Brian Reilly explain the importance of taking it seriously: What Businesses Should Know About The PPP Good Faith Certification PS&H Client Alert published April 30, 2020. 
        • April 21, 2020 - The U.S. Senate passed a bill that would amend the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) by providing approximately $480 billion in additional funding to combat COVID-19. For details, read Senate Approves Additional Funding for CARES Act Programs PS&H Client Alert published April 22, 2020.
        • April 16, 2020 - With a lapse in appropriations, the SBA is currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program. For more information and to review other assistance options, click here.
        • April 5, 2020 - Understanding the concept of "affiliation" related to the Paycheck Protection Program is critical in determining if your business meets the 500-employee threshold or qualifies under another SBA size standard, to be eligible for a loan. PS&H attorneys Dave Wittmann and Patrick Niebauer explain recent guidance: Guidance Issued On Paycheck Protection Program "Affiliation" Rules PS&H Client Alert published April 5, 2020.
        • March 30, 2020 - Since being signed into law on March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the "CARES Act") has raised many questions from business owners and nonprofit organizations seeking aid in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A team of Partridge Snow & Hahn attorneys has developed this comprehensive guide to provide a valuable tool for businesses and nonprofits to find answers to common questions concerning the CARES Act. The reference guide can be viewed here
        • March 29, 2020 - On March 27, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act"). The CARES Act included provisions enhancing the opportunities for individuals and corporations to make charitable contributions. PS&H counsel Liz Manchester explains the importance of developing comprehensive charitable giving opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic: 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organizations Update: CARES Act PS&H Client Alert published March 29, 2020
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        For current information and resources visit our COVID-19 Advisory Group page