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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CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Luca + Danni

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, is spreading throughout the United States. Despite the fact that the vast majority of the individuals who contract the coronavirus will have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, 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.


        Alicia Samolis, Employment & Labor, Business, Litigation
        Drew Colby, Construction, Litigation
        David DiSegna, Public Finance & Governmental, Business, Commercial Finance, Charitable & Nonprofit Organizations
        Jeffrey Gladstone, Litigation, Real Estate, Construction, Land Use & Environmental, Commercial Restructuring, Workouts & Asset Recovery
        Andrea Jacobs, Business, Real Estate
        Elizabeth Manchester,
        Charitable & Nonprofit Organizations
        Alex Mattera,
        Litigation, Commercial Finance, Commercial Restructuring, Workouts & Asset Recovery
        Howard Merten
        , Litigation, Intellectual Property & Technology, Insurance
        Richard Nadeau, Commercial Finance, Real Estate, Commercial Restructuring, Workouts & Asset Recovery
        Brian Reilly, Business, Real Estate, Commercial Finance
        Russell Stein,
        Tax, Charitable & Nonprofit Organizations, Business
        Robert Taylor,
        Litigation, Intellectual Property & Technology, Land Use & Environmental, Commercial Restructuring, Workouts & Asset Recovery, Construction, Charitable & Nonprofit Organizations
        David Wittmann
        , Business, Real Estate, Intellectual Property & Technology
          
        Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)
        • April 2, 2020 - Calculating your business’s payroll for the purpose of taking advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program within the CARES Act is complicated. PS&H attorney Brian Reilly details specific items to include and to exclude in your calculations:

        • March 31, 2020 - The CARES Act benefits nonprofit organizations. PS&H counsel Liz Manchester summarizes highlights of several applicable provisions.

        • 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

        Business
        • March 28, 2020 - Rhode Island issued a combination shelter/closure order on March 28,2020. The shelter part of the order has an exception for work that cannot be performed from home. The closure piece applies to non-essential retail effective and is effective March 30, 2020 (exemptions listed in the order). There is also a quarantine requirement for those coming to Rhode Island from out-of-state for non-work purposes.
        • March 23, 2020 - On March 23, 2020, Governor Baker of Massachusetts issued a new stay-at-home advisory and ordered all non-essential businesses closed beginning on Tuesday, March 24 at noon. The Commonwealth has also issued new assemblage guidelines limiting gatherings to no greater than 10 people. Click to view The Order and The Assemblage Guidance. To view a list of essential services, as defined in Massachusetts, click here
        • March 20, 2020 - We are fielding a lot of inquiries from business owners, large and small, asking if their business interruption coverage will respond to losses caused by COVID-19 shutdowns. PS&H Managing Partner, Howard Merten, provides practical advice for businesses in need of guidance now.:

        • March 20, 2020 - The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced an emergency low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program for qualifying small businesses and private nonprofits in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut (and a number of other states) that have suffered substantial economic hardship as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19), and that are unable to obtain credit elsewhere. The program allows borrowing of up to $2 million per eligible small business, and may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of COVID-19 impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. Click here for more information and the SBA's online application. Click here for additional SBA disaster assistance information. 
        • March 19, 2020 - While businesses may not be able to easily change existing agreements, they should take steps to ensure that they are protected going forward. This advisory addresses some common pitfalls and highlights issues to consider when negotiating agreements in light of the current state of affairs.
        Addressing the Novel Coronavirus in Your Contracts PS&H Client Alert published 3/19/20

        • March 19, 2020 - Force majeure provisions are included in contracts to excuse a party’s failure to perform due to unforeseeable events outside the party’s control. Not all force majeure provisions are created equal, and the coronavirus may trigger some, but not others. PS&H attorneys Patrick Niebauer, Brian Reilly and David Wittmann explain.
        Interpreting the Force Majeure Clause in Your Contract PS&H Article published March 19, 2020

        • March 18, 2020 - On March 18, 2020, Governor Baker announced that for certain eligible small businesses, Massachusetts would postpone the deadlines for payment of sales tax and meals tax for the months of March, April, and May. This does not cancel the obligation to pay these taxes but postpones the deadline to pay until June 20, 2020. In order to be eligible for the postponement, a business must have owed less than $150,000 in regular sales and meals taxes in the year ending February 29, 2020. We expect that the Massachusetts Department of Revenue will provide more formal guidance and regulations on this postponement, and we will report any additional information as it becomes available. https://boston.eater.com/2020/3/18/21185823/massachusetts-restaurants-small-businesses-meals-tax-delay
        • March 10, 2020 - Business leaders should be thinking about common-sense approaches to reduce the impact of the coronavirus on their organizations. PS&H attorneys Patrick Niebauer, Brian Reilly, Lawrence Sheh and David Wittmann explain some basic preventative steps that businesses can take to limit business disruption, contract liability and financial losses from the coronavirus:
        What Businesses Can Do To Prepare For Coronavirus PS&H Client Alert published March 10, 2020

        Cannabis
        • March 27, 2020 - The Massachusetts Cannabis Commission issued an administrative order temporarily authorizing medical marijuana treatment centers to offer curbside pickup to patients and caregivers to limit COVID-19 transmission during Massachusetts' state of emergency, subject to compliance with a number of safety and operational requirements. Centers also can continue to sell products in their interior premises. The full order, which takes effect at noon on March 28, 2020, can be read here.
        • March 23, 2020 - Governor Baker of Massachusetts issued a new stay-at-home advisory and ordered all non-essential businesses closed beginning on Tuesday, March 24 at noon. Licensed medical marijuana retailers are considered "essential services" and are allowed to remain open. Licensed recreational marijuana retailers must close. Click here to view The Order. To view a list of essential services, as defined in Massachusetts, click here.
        • March 17, 2020 - The Office of Cannabis Regulation of the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation issued a Bulletin permitting licensed medical marijuana compassion centers to implement limited curbside pickup and delivery plans during the pendency of the COVID-19 health emergency. Restrictions with respect to cleaning, disinfection, hygiene and social distancing remain in effect. Click here to view the Bulletin.

        Charitable & Nonprofit Organizations
        • March 31, 2020 - The CARES Act benefits nonprofit organizations. PS&H counsel Liz Manchester summarizes highlights of several applicable provisions.

        • 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

        • March 25, 2020 - The Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts has established the SouthCoast Emergency Response Fund to provide flexible resources to organizations that are working with the populations most vulnerable to COVID-19. Click here for details.
        • March 24, 2020 - On Thursday, March 26, PS&H Counsel and Chair of the firm's Charitable and Nonprofit Organizations Practice Elizabeth Manchester, will lead a virtual town hall for The Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association ("RIVMA"), the professional association for veterinarians with a membership of 250. The meeting will focus on employment and operational issues for veterinary practices in light of the challenges of COVID-19.
        • March 20, 2020 - Rhode Island Foundation and United Way of Rhode Island today announced that local nonprofit organizations at the forefront of COVID-19 response can apply for a COVID-19 Response Fund Grant.
        • March 16, 2020 - COVID-19 will impact how nonprofit organizations deliver mission-based services for the foreseeable future. Liz Manchester shares some action steps nonprofit executives, leaders and board members can take to minimize risk and mitigate the impact of the pandemic:

        • March 9, 2020 - On March 9, Governor Gina Raimondo issued an executive order suspending the Rhode Island Open Meetings Act prohibition on government bodies meeting remotely. The order, which will only be in place until April 15, requires public bodies that do meet remotely to provide some form of public access, through telephone or electronic means. The order can be viewed here.
         Construction

        • March 31, 2020 -  Many people in the construction industry believe the force majeure clause waives the requirement for making a claim for an extension of time. PS&H partner Drew Colby explains how this believe is incorrect under A201.
        A Force Majeure Trap Within Construction Contracts PS&H Client Alert published March 31, 2020.

        • March 18, 2020 - The coronavirus has the potential to disrupt project schedules. It is imperative to understand your rights should such a disruption occur. PS&H partner Drew Colby addresses suspension and termination issues and the contract provisions triggered by their use:
        Rights Arising From Coronavirus-Related Project Shutdown PS&H Client Alert published March 18, 2020
        Cyberliability & Data Security
        • March 27, 2020 - With many companies adjusting to fully remote operations, it is important to be aware of possible cyberattacks that companies are especially vulnerable to. For information on specific coronavirus scams to watch out for, visit the Federal Trade Commission website.
        Employment & Labor
        • April 2, 2020 - If you have employees who are physically going into work despite a shelter order or closure order because your business is exempt as an essential business (or in Rhode Island, the individual is unable to work from home), employers are advised to provide the employee a letter that sets forth who they work for, what the employer does and the nature of the exemption. While such a letter is not required in RI and MA, it will make the employee more confident during their commute and in the event the employee is questioned, the letter can help avoid the employee articulating the need to traveling, leading to additional questioning of the employer.
        • April 2, 2020 - The Temporary Rule regarding Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act has been released and can be viewed here.
        • March 25, 2020 - The Families First Coronavirus Response Act Notice has been released. Employers should not only post the notice in a conspicuous place or places for all employees to see, but also mail or email the notice to employees working from home. In addition to the poster, frequently asked questions about the notice can viewed here.
        • March 24, 2020The DOL's new informal guidance indicates the FFCRA will take effect April 1, 2020. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act [FFCRA - House No. 6201] was signed into law the night of March 18, 2020. While Regulations relating to FFCRA are not yet issued, on March 24 the Department of Labor has issued Questions and Answers that, among other things, set the effective date for both the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act as April 1. As a reminder, the FMLA Act amends the existing FMLA to allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of partially paid leave if needed to care for the employee’s child because the child’s school or daycare is closed or unavailable due to a public health emergency. The PSL Act provide 80 hours of fully or partially paid leave for a number of different reasons associated with COVID-19. Click here for the full set of Questions and Answers.
        • March 20, 2020 - PS&H partner Michael Gamboli gives valuable insight into the Families First Act and the affect it has on small business owners as employers. Click here to listen to the podcast. 
        • March 20, 2020 - The Families First Coronavirus Response Act [FFCRA - House No. 6201] was signed into law the night of March 18, 2020 and goes into effect no later than April 2, 2020. For employers, two key components of the FFCRA are the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (FMLA Act) and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (PSL Act). The FMLA Act amends the existing FMLA to allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of partially paid leave if needed to care for the employee’s child because the child’s school or daycare is closed or unavailable due to a public health emergency. The PSL Act provide 80 hours of fully or partially paid leave for a number of different reasons associated with COVID-19. For more detailed information on the FFCRA click here.
        • March 20, 2020 - Local restrictions are beginning to issue that will have a severe impact on businesses. Even if your Company does not operate in one of the jurisdictions currently impacted, it is important to understand the trends so that your Company is prepared to respond to the same. Specifically, New York has issued an order requiring employers to reduce their on-site staff by 75%, Pennsylvania has shut down non-life sustaining businesses (even those not open to the public) and California has restricted employees abilities to go to work. Importantly, these orders are generally building in essential business exceptions, which may be more broad than anticipated. For example, Pennsylvania’s interpretation of what is “life sustaining” can be found here.
        • March 16, 2020 - Please check our recommendations for best practices for preparing from a human resources standpoint and updates concerning emerging legal and business issues arising from the virus.
        • March 16, 2020 - Rhode Island and Massachusetts orders preventing consumption of food and beverages in restaurant and bars went into effect March 17, 2020. For those companies issuing lay-offs and furloughs as a result of the coronavirus, remember Rhode Island is explicitly waiving the seven-day waiting period to collect unemployment in the case of a furlough or lay-off if “covid-19” is noted on the application to collect benefits (see notice). Similarly, the Massachusetts DOL has filed emergency legislation to do the same and also to allow employees to collect unemployment that typically would be unable to do so because the employee is not seeking another job if either (a) the employee is unable to seek work for a corona-virus related reason (such as quarantines or sickness) or (b) the employee is on furlough, is in contact with the employer and would work if called by the employer during the furlough.
        • March 16, 2020 - Do you have over 100 employees and need to consider group terminations, furloughs and/or reductions in hours? Review this quick summary of what triggers the obligation to give notice under the WARN-Act.
        • March 16, 2020 - Partridge Snow & Hahn Partner and Chair of the Employment & Labor Practice, Alicia Samolis, will serve as a panelist at PBN's Spring Health Care Summit on April 1st, from 9-11 am. Alicia will speak about the impacts the Coronavirus has had from the human resources and employment law perspective. The summit, which will focus solely on the Coronavirus pandemic, is a virtual event. Registration is free.To learn more and to register for this free event, click here.
        • March 6, 2020 - PS&H partner Alicia Samolis, provided comment to the Providence Business News (PBN) on the challenges employers are facing in balancing coronavirus concerns with the risk of unintentionally creating stigma and discrimination:

        Coronavirus Raises Workplace Issues as seen in Providence Business News, March 6, 2020

        • February 19, 2020 - The U.S. Center for Disease Control has issued interim Guidance for businesses and employers to plan and respond to COVID-19. PS&H attorneys Sheridan King and Michael Gamboli explain:

        Coronavirus: Guidance For Employers PS&H Client Alert published February 19, 2020

        Intellectual Property & Technology
        • March 31, 2020 - The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced waivers and 30 day extensions of the deadlines for many (but not all) patent and trademark filings that fall due between March 27, 2020 and April 30, 2020, inclusive. The list of patent filings can be found here . The list of trademark filings which have been extended can be found here . PS&H partner John Ottaviani details how a qualified delay is determined and the filings considered for the extension:
        USPTO Extends Filing Deadlines For COVID-19 Related Delays PS&H Client Alert published April 2, 2020.

        • March 19, 2020 - The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has not extended any patent or trademark related deadlines, as most filings can be made electronically. The USPTO, however, has waived fees and penalties for certain (but not all) filings made late due to the coronavirus epidemic. The USPTO announcement can be viewed here.

        Land Use & Environmental
        • April 2, 2020 -  EPA's Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program has taken temporary measures regarding its exercise of enforcement discretion for noncompliance resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. PS&H counsel Christian Capizzo summarizes the memo issued by the EPA. The summary can be viewed here. The full EPA memo can be viewed here.
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        For current information and resources visit our COVID-19 Advisory Group page