Vine Solutions, Inc. Newsletter
October 2010
The Small Business Bill equates Huge Victory 
In recent years, it's been no secret the difficulty small businesses have faced just to stay afloat in the strained economy. Yet, a recent bill signed by the House of Representatives might be exactly what is needed to give these companies a new lease on life.
The National Restaurant Association has been watching closely as the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act was first introduced to President Obama as a way of providing assistance to ailing restaurants and other small companies through financial recovery. In laymen terms, the approved bill enacted September 27, 2010, will extend tax reliefs and incentives for renovation purposes as well as to provide access to additional capital. 
Under Section 179 of the tax code, businesses are now permitted to write off $500,000 of capital expenses as opposed to the current $250,000, through 2011. "That means restaurant operators could write off $500,000 of equipment costs, such as new point-of-sales systems the year they bought the equipment, rather than recovering all of the cost over a multi-year depreciation schedule", according to The National Restaurant Association. In addition, as part of the proposed $500,000 limit, a restaurateur can expense $250,000 of the improvement costs the same year they were completed or purchased, through December, 2011.
The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act will also provide incentives to small, local banks who provide capital to small businesses by way of a proposed $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund. The bill includes the expansion of SBA, or Small Business Administration loans, by increasing loan amounts from $2 million to $5 million while reducing or even eliminating the fees incurred when applying for them, through 2010.
In This Issue
Small Business Bill
Cafe Des Amis
The Coupon Craze
Quick Links
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Vine Online
Given the multitude of reports Vine online can generate, it makes sense that different individuals would prefer one over another. 
If you feel that you would benefit from having a specific report such as the Daily Opts Statement or the Daily Punch Audit, automatically emailed to you each day, please advise your client manager. They can revise your preferences to have a daily generated report.
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Holiday Hours to Note:


Vine Solutions offices will be closed November 25-26 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

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It's Budget Time Again!


Fall is setting in and before you know it, we will be into the holiday season.  Now is the time to start thinking about your 2011 budgets.  As a general rule of thumb, we like to have our client's budgets complete for 2011 by the end of November, so if you haven't already done so, please contact your client manager and they will be happy to get the process started with you.


John Priest

V.P. of Operations

Restaurant Spotlight;
              Cafe Des Amis
Cafe Des Amis
Throughout the years, Union Street has continued to represent one of San Francisco's finest gathering spots, and in keeping with tradition, finds itself no stranger to showcasing yet another celebrated culinary venue.

Café Des Amis, linked to the lineage of ancestral greats such as Perry's, Spruce, and The Village Pub, has rapidly become one of Cow Hollow's prime places to dine, having opened just 3 months ago.

Bacchus Management Group's, Tim Stannard, in collaboration with Perry Butler of Perry's San Francisco, 
sought to create a restaurant reminiscent of an age-old neighborhood brasserie with the enticing flavors of the sophisticated Parisian culture. The menu hones in on fresh herbs, seasonal vegetables, and beans harvested from their own farm in Woodside. Responsibly farm-raised whole animals are sourced from local purveyors in an effort to capture the true authentic flavors of Southern France, while keeping within those sustainability efforts.

Comprised of mostly French varietals, the wine list at Café Des Amis compliments the true French fare experience. The beers on tap consist of French, Belgian and Belgian crafted, along with several American varieties. Cocktails focus on those of yesteryear and bring back the spirits popular in the mid-nineteenth century along with present day concoctions.

Café Des Amis is open Sunday through Wednesday 11:30am to 11:00pm with a special late-night menu offered Thursday through Saturday from 11:00pm to 1:00am to appeal to those enjoying San Francisco's nightlife. Brunch is offered on the weekends from 10:00am until 3:00pm. Cafe Des Amis is located at 200 Union Strret, at the corner of Union and Buchanan.

The Coupon Craze;
 Can Internet Coupons Cut it?
There's no need to explain what Groupon is, as the company's omnipresence has spread like wildfire creating the most utilized discount concepts known to the Internet. Therefore, it's no wonder why it's become so successful among bargain seeking-consumers. The question critics raise, however, is can business owners afford to engage in a coupon promotion which more often than not is less profitable?
Groupon, along with thousands of other copycats worldwide, base their fundamental selling principal around a very specific business model; attract as many consumers to the coupon deal-a-day (currently sitting at a hefty 17 million subscribers), and in turn, create a successful 50/50 split transaction for themselves and the merchant. However, what companies like Groupon are failing to consider, is the what and how of the coupon redemption.

Many small businesses who have participated in the Internet coupon advertising, have purported being disenchanted with the false consumer base. Often times the customer isn't the type of individual the company is specifically targeting, finding that they often will purchase only the amount indicated on the coupon. In addition, 9 times out of 10, the consumer not return unless, that is, if another coupon accompanies. As Denver Business Journal's Ed Sealover explains, "[this] illustrates the conflicting views that businesses have about participating in the new wave of cut-rate Internet discounts that could fill a business without necessarily increasing its profits."

According to an article by Brad Stone in Bloomberg Buisnessweek, restaurants account for nearly half of all businesses advertised on Groupon's site, and yet an astounding 40% said they wouldn't participate in a coupon promotion again. In addition, a study performed by Rice University's marketing professor, Utpal Dholakia, which polled 150 businesses in 19 cities from June 2009 to August 2010, reported that restaurants represented the least successful businesses that took part in Groupon's coupon promotions.

All too often, restaurants and food establishments have  chronicled the difficulty juggling the rush of business that coupons momentarily provide. At the end of the day, it can create a disastrous backlash of disgruntled employees with little or no tips to show for it. In order for restaurants and other companies alike to benefit from the influx of traffic while still reporting a profit, Dholakia suggests modifying the way in which they present coupons. "Instead of a $30 coupon, give three $10 coupons and allow only one per visit. And/or discount your less popular items rather than offerings that you will sell anyway." He also impresses upon restaurants, the importance of capturing the email address of each coupon recipient. This way, you can include them in your social media networking as well as work towards establishing a long-term relationship with each client, as opposed to a fleeting one.