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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        "U.S. Supreme Court Takes Up Major Challenge to Federal Health Reform"

        Are Employers in the 34 States Without Exchanges Subject to Penalties?

        Despite the fact that there is no longer any disagreement in the lower courts, the Supreme Court on Friday, November 7, 2014, made the unusual and highly unexpected move of agreeing to rule on a key challenge to federal health reform.

        As discussed in two prior eblasts (Health Reform News; Dueling Districts Challenge Health Reform,) the controversy turns on a technical statutory issue in the tax code provisions of the ACA.  The ACA’s employer mandate penalties hinge on the availability of tax credits.  An employer whose health plan fails certain standards of coverage or affordability standards is subject to a penalty if a full-time employee “enroll[s] . . . in a qualified health plan with respect to which an applicable tax credit . . . is allowed or paid with respect to the employee.”  Under the ACA, an applicable tax credit is available only for the purchase of insurance on an “Exchange established by the State under section 1311 of the [ACA].”  However, the IRS adopted a rule interpreting the ACA to allow tax credits for insurance purchased on either a state- or federally-established Exchange. 

        Therefore, under the pure statutory language of the ACA, tax credits are unavailable for purchases through the federal Exchanges, and employers there face no penalties for failing to offer coverage. Under the IRS rule, however, the tax credit (and employer penalties) are given broader reach. 

        If the Supreme Court rules that subsidies are not available in federal exchanges, it could have extremely significant ramifications.  Since both houses of Congress are now Republican-controlled, it is unlikely that the votes could be garnered to conform the ACA text to the IRS regulation.  Absent a fix in Congress, states with exchanges may well abandon their exchanges so that local employers in their states would be shielded from the employer penalty.  In addition, without a Congressional amendment, the federal tax subsidy may be invalidated, which could create a backlash against the individual mandate, and the entire basis for the health reform bill.

        It is likely that the Supreme Court will rule at about the time the first tax credits could be taken (in April 2015), and well in advance of the time that the first penalties would be assessed (in April 2016).  Stay tuned!