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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        What Businesses Can Do To Prepare For Coronavirus

        With anxiety over a potential coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) pandemic spreading more quickly than the virus itself, people across the United States are being advised to take the common-sense approaches of washing their hands, using hand sanitizer, and coughing and sneezing into their elbows to reduce the risk of transmission.

        Business leaders should also be thinking about common-sense approaches to reduce the impact of the coronavirus on their organizations.

        With the further spread of coronavirus likely but difficult to predict, there are some basic preventative steps that businesses can take to limit business disruption, contract liability and financial losses from the coronavirus.

        First, business leaders should ensure that they have a good first line of defense, namely proper and adequate insurance coverage. At first glance, it may seem that coronavirus-related issues should be covered by business interruption coverage under a property insurance policy. In many cases, however, business interruption coverage only insures a “physical loss” from a “designated cause.” The exact definitions of “physical loss” and “designated cause” vary by policy; many possible issues arising from the coronavirus, such as widespread absences or shutdowns resulting from quarantine of employees, may not be covered. Business leaders who believe their businesses may be at risk from coronavirus should consult with their insurance brokers to ensure that they have necessary coverage in place.

        Second, business leaders should review any previously executed contracts that may be impacted by the coronavirus for a “force majeure” clause. Force majeure clauses are often included in contracts to excuse a party’s failure to perform under the contract due to unforeseeable events outside such party’s control. Ideally, any previously executed contracts would include force majeure language that would apply to issues arising from the coronavirus. However, most standard force majeure clauses do not directly address the impact of pandemics; therefore, such clauses may not adequately mitigate the risks associated with the coronavirus. If a force majeure clause is included in the contract, then it is important to review with counsel (i) if the clause would cover coronavirus-related issues, and (ii) whether triggering the force majeure clause requires any kind of notification to another party to the contract, and if so, what those requirements are. Notice to another party may need to be delivered in a certain form and within a certain time period for the force majeure clause to be properly invoked.

        Third, for contracts or transactions that are currently in negotiation, business leaders should consider the potential impacts of coronavirus-related disruptions before agreeing to final deal terms and ensure that any new contracts include force majeure provisions adequate to protect against such risks. Whether a transaction involves a lease, a purchase contract for goods or services, the acquisition of a business, or other types of agreements, it may make sense for the parties to re-assess the terms. Depending on the type of transaction, the parties should consider directly addressing specific coronavirus-related issues that could impact the transaction or the parties’ respective abilities to perform under the proposed contract.

        Partridge Snow & Hahn’s Business Law Group is ready to answer questions and to provide advice on how to address general and specific business risks posed by the coronavirus.
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