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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        SEC Adopts Changes to Accredited Investor Definition

        On August 26, 2020, Jay Clayton, Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), released a Statement on Modernization of the Accredited Investor Definition. This Statement reflects the SEC’s commitment to expanding the pool of eligible accredited investors. For over thirty years, the accredited investor test for individuals has been a binary test based on an investor’s income and net worth. Passing or failing the “test” has significant consequences: if an investor meets the net worth and income thresholds, then the investor is “accredited” and can participate in the private capital market, if not, the investor will typically be excluded from private investing.

        The accredited investor test has historically been criticized for excluding many financially sophisticated but low income/net worth individuals from private investing. As Chairman Clayton notes in the Statement, startups located in “geographic areas with lower concentrations of accredited investors, or founders without a wealthy friends-and-family network – are unable to seek investments from otherwise financially sophisticated individuals to access much needed seed and growth capital.” This has likely disproportionately impacted underrepresented founders and investors.

        Accordingly, the SEC will allow persons who hold certain professional certifications and designations and other credentials from accredited educational institutions to be deemed “accredited,” regardless of their net worth or income. The initial certifications that will confer accredited status include the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) Licensed General Securities Representative (Series 7), Licensed Investment Adviser Representative (Series 65), and Licensed Private Securities Offerings Representative (Series 82) certifications.

        Some commentators in the financial industry have expressed concern that conferring accredited investor status on individuals with the above certifications will not significantly expand the pool of accredited investors, however, the changes to the rule are a step in the right direction, and the SEC will presumably add additional qualifying credentials to further increase the number of individuals who qualify as accredited investors. Over time, these changes should result in more access to capital for early stage companies. The SEC has also adopted changes to the accredited investor rules with respect to institutional investors.

        The click to view the full Statement on Modernization of the Accredited Investor Definition

        The Partridge Snow & Hahn Business Law Practice Group is ready to answer questions and will continue to monitor updates to the rules.

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