Archive: Financial

How Does Your Safety Program “Pair” With Your Workers?

With the intensity of the wine season gearing up and peak times just around the corner, how prepared are you to protect the health and safety of your workers? Protecting your employees is crucial to attaining your orchard and vineyard goals and having a successful operation. Having a solid and functioning safety plan in force results in better productivity, enables your workers to thrive and contribute to the performance of your business.  A good safety program is a win –win for everyone! Regardless of the size of your operation, it is your responsibility as an employer, to have a safety program in place.  Depending on the size of your operation, your safety program may be informal or it may need […]

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Plant Patents in the Wine Industry

When most people think of patents, they think of new machines, new medicines, or improved manufacturing processes.  These inventions are protected by “utility patents.”  Some people may also be familiar with “design patents,” which protect a novel ornamental design, such as the front grill of a luxury car.  But, there is a third class of patents with which most people are unfamiliar, “plant patents.”  As the name suggests, plant patents protect new plant varieties, such as a new strain of wine grape vine. Not all plants are eligible for patent protection, however.  United States Code, Title 35, Section 161 provides that: “[w]hoever invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant, including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, […]

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Are You Protecting What You’ve Worked so Hard to Build?

  Picture it – clearing the fields, row mapping, proper drainage, all those plantings – and – your first yield. You have come so far to get to where you are today! Countless hours, lots of hard work and now you really have something – your pride and joy. But now that you’ve come so far and you’re more established, your risks are more significant and there is just so much more to lose. Are you proactively working to protect what you’ve worked so hard to build? Winter is generally a quieter time and is a good time to identify potential risks that could pose a threat to your business. This can mean many different things to winemakers. For some […]

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Protect Events Hosted at Your Winery with Event Insurance

By now, most winery owners have heard the buzz regarding event insurance.  Sure, you know it exists, but do you really know exactly what event insurance covers and how it can benefit your clients (and you)? Event insurance is a necessity for winery owners looking to keep themselves, and their clients, protected.  We recently talked with Lauren Hernandez, Senior Event Insurance Specialist at Markel Specialty insurance to learn more. “It is probably important to first point out that there are two different types of event insurance– event liability and event cancellation,” states Hernandez. LIABILITY INSURANCE “Event liability protects the person hosting an event at your facility,” Hernandez explained.  If during their event someone causes property damage to your winery or […]

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Tariffs and the Industry: Impacts of the Trade War on Wine, Beer & Spirits

Throughout 2018, the Trump administration’s implementation of tariffs on several foreign goods, and the retaliatory tariffs that followed suit have confused markets and worried many businesses. The alcohol industry—wine, beer, spirits and those who support them—have all been affected in some way by these tariffs, or expect to be in 2019 if they continue. With the news on tariffs changing almost monthly, it can be hard to keep up, which causes further insecurity for the industry. Timeline of Events   Trade tensions began in January 2018 when the Trump administration imposed tariffs on solar cells and washing machines after a report stating that imports were hurting the domestic U.S. market in those businesses. On March 8, 2018, President Trump announced […]

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Protecting Your Business From Employee Poachers

You’ve been in business for several years and have a dozen hard-working, dedicated employees working for your company, or so you think.  Out of the blue, a new competitor enters the market and the next thing you know, all 12 of your employees have jumped ship to join the new firm.  With them, they have taken company records and customer lists.  What do you do?  Do you have any legal recourse against the poaching company? Against your former employees?  How could you have prevented this? Can a Competitor “Poach” Your Employees? In most states, yes.  Many people are surprised to learn that, generally, poaching is a perfectly valid and legal way to find new employees. There are exceptions and limitations, of […]

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Tariffs, Tariffs, and More Tariffs

Toward the end of this week, take a minute to add up and total the amount of US tariffs imposed on Chinese goods imported into the US. You can glean this data from online aggregated digital news, television news, or from US Government pronouncements about Trump tariffs. I would be very surprised if the number does not exceed hundreds of billions of US dollars encompassing about half of all Chinese manufactured goods entering the US. The public comment period for most US-China tariffs to be imposed to date ended this past Friday so that such tariffs can be imposed by the US Government and will either be at 25% or 10% depending on the Chinese manufactured product. China and the US, up […]

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Brokers See Themselves as ‘Bridge’ Between Growers, Wineries

Wine and grape brokers insist that their role transcend that of simple intermediary between grower and winery. Some involved in the process go so far as to eschew the term “broker” in describing what they do to bring the parties together. “I don’t like the word broker; it sounds like a used car salesman, somebody who’s taking advantage of somebody who doesn’t know anything,” said Shannon Gunier, co-owner of Lower Lake, California-based brokering firm North Coast Winegrapes. “I like the word concierge because they help you find your way.” Gunier, who, along with husband Rick, started her business in 2010, said the couple operates as the “eyes and ears” of their customers. “Use a broker if you’re unfamiliar with the […]

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Adding a Financing Arm to Your B2B Business “aka” In-House Customer Payment Plans

With majority of business processes automated – payment plans are more readily available than ever before. This includes business goods, services, and consumer goods – almost everything under the sun can be financed.  With that being said it is crucial for a business to offer payment plans for products and services to keep up with competition and most importantly grow sales and increase revenue.  Commonly, a customer that wants or requires a finance option is often not going to share that with whom they are purchasing from. Keep in mind, 100% of your customers that pay cash are already doing so. So suppliers offering a financing option have the chance to convert more existing prospects into buyers.  As a private lender in […]

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The Real Benefits of Financing: What are My Options?

                                        Financing Versus Equity Financing Banks, Lenders, and Investors (oh my!) all exist because we fellow businesses need them. They sometimes can be the fine line between succeeding and closing the doors for good. Each of these entities, holders of large sums of money, provide capital. In order to build new wineries, buy new equipment, develop new products, and upgrade information technology, businesses have to have money. Banks, Lenders and Investors each have different financial structures and costs associated with using their money – also known as their “cost of doing business”. The beginning of the year is a popular time […]

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