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May 28, 2020
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  

On Friday the NJ Economic Development Authority (EDA) formally approved an additional $50 million in funding for its grant program to small businesses. We know several members were among the few businesses that were able to secure funding several weeks ago. This is the program which awarded grants of up to $5,000 to businesses in certain industries with 10 or fewer full time equivalent (FTE) employees. The money in this program ($5 million) ran out within the first hour after applications opened. The EDA announced that they will provide an additional $5 million to give out to businesses who were on the waitlist, and that they plan for every business on the waitlist to either receive the money or be explicitly told that they are not getting funding from that go-round. The remaining $45 million will be given out as grants, though a new application and broadened criteria. Any type of business will be able to apply, and the cap on employees is increased to 25 FTEs. The forms and the date for application to start have not been released yet.  You can read more about this HERE and HERE.
We are monitoring this and will get you more information as soon as we have it. The last round of funding ran out within the first hour it was available, and while this time there will be much more money available, the number of applicable businesses has also increased, so expect this money to likely run out within the first day.
The NJ EDA also announced the launch of a new public database of vendors of PPE. If you are having difficulty getting supplies of products like masks, gloves, and sanitizers; this may be a useful resource for you to check out. Please note the warning from EDA about exercising due diligence when making purchases, they have not vetted these suppliers themselves so buyer beware.
Governor Murphy released this survey late last week, saying he wants all businesses in the state to take this survey. He is currently gathering data on how best to reopen the state. When you have some time, please take a minute to fill this out. 
We have been following the news on Hertz filing for bankruptcy and the effect this will have on the used car market and for used cars on the road that will need service. For those of you that sell used cars, and I know many of you do, this may not be welcomed news as the used car market is going to be flooded. Also, new car dealers are trying to make deals that will encourage people with leased vehicles to turn in their current leased vehicle in exchange for brand new ones with more and modern features and technologies while maintaining the exact same lease cost. This too will add to the used car market. On a positive note, more used cars in your customers driveways theoretically should be providing more work in your auto repair shops, assuming that these vehicles are driven once again. If the economy stays shut down and all of these used vehicles are left to sit in someone's driveway, they won't be using gas or wearing out their tires and brakes.
This issue obviously ties into our Cash for Clunkers research. We haven't heard anything more, though we assume that the car manufacturers will make a push in order to remove this glut of used cars to the junkyard so that consumers make new car purchases. All of these things will have an effect in your repair shop, though we don't know for certain how they will shape up just yet.
The state Treasurer last week released updated revenue projections from the State. They are now predicting that the two taxes on motor fuels will end up being down $234.4 million total for the current fiscal year. Based on current law, that would translate into an approximately 5¢ a gallon increase in the tax on gasoline and diesel fuel starting October 1. The Treasurer does have some discretion in how to implement that and the Legislature has the power to change it, but only if they choose to. Otherwise low gas prices may keep the public from getting too upset, and the powerful construction industry forces will not accept anything that leads to fewer dollars being spent on infrastructure spending, as seen by the toll hikes approved yesterday with their vocal support. An increase of the gas tax of that size would make our per-gallon rate higher than New York's. They also forecast a further $40 million drop in collections in the next fiscal year, which would add roughly another cent per gallon in October 2021.
Beyond the gas tax, total lottery sales dropped approximately 25% in March and April. Sales tax is predicted to be $1.1 billion dollars short for the current fiscal year and $1.5 billion short for the next fiscal year. Sales tax is the biggest contributor to the state's general fund, and these shortfalls will certainly increase the pressure for the State to raise taxes anywhere it can get away with in order to maintain a balanced budget, as is required by the state constitution. The Governor has called for, and the Assembly plans to vote on, a significant emergency bonding plan that would help fill in the gaps, and it is still possible that Congress will move legislation in the next coronavirus package to provide money to state governments for them to use to supplement their general funds. You can read more details about the state's revenues here: 
I want to thank our members who have let us know about the work they are doing to help their communities and give back to those in need during these strange and unpredictable times. We recently learned of the FeedNJ initiative and want to invite our members who are able to participate to do so if they are able. See the details below that have been provided to NJGCA in order to donate:
FeedNJ is a unique campaign co-chaired by Assembly Speaker Coughlin and Port Authority Chairman Kevin O'Toole aimed at tackling the increased food insecurity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by purchasing meals from local eateries and donating those meals to neighborhood soup kitchens.
Unlike Feeding America or other nonprofits geared towards serving food pantries, we are geared towards soup kitchens, which serve warm meals on-site and in this case as take-out due to our state's safety guidelines. Soup kitchens help serve the most vulnerable of the food insecure population. Many people who are disaffected by hunger do not have access to a kitchen to prepare the types of non-perishable items distributed by food pantries. For this reason, soup kitchens play a critical and commonly overlooked role in tackling hunger.
Due to restaurants being restricted to take-out only, many of these restaurants are struggling to stay open, if they are open at all. This effort will not only bring more warm meals to soup kitchens, but will also help support the local economy.
Donations have ranged from $1,000 to $10,000, but all levels are accepted. Donors can choose where to direct their contribution regionally and if the donation is at least $1,000 can even pick the restaurant.
Normally, a meal at a soup kitchen costs less than $2.50 per person, but in today's environment where restaurants are struggling, many places have quoted us at $5.00 per person.
On average, every $500 = 100 warm meals. Our goal is to serve 20,000 free meals through the FeedNJ campaign.
To contribute online click here

Be Well -  
Sal Risalvato
Executive Director




  Training Class Schedule  

All classes held at NJGCA HQ -- 4900 Route 33 West, Wall Township, NJ 07753

Two-Day Emissions Inspector Training Class
April 22nd & 23rd

Want your technicians to become a NJ Emissions Inspector? We can help!

Our new two-day class will provide all the information for becoming a NJ Emissions Inspector. Day one will consist of written test training and the State will administer the written test the very same day at our offices. Day two will be a hands-on training course to prepare you for the hands-on test. Class will run from 7:00am to 4:00pm on day 1. Class will begin at 12:30 PM on day 2. Cost is $479 for members.

April class registration click here




  News Around The State  

N.J. Public Worker Pensions Could Lose $115M In Funding As Lottery Ticket Sales Plunge
The New Jersey Lottery is expected to come up about $115 million short in its $1 billion annual contribution to the public worker pension fund as the pandemic slows ticket sales, a treasury official said Wednesday. The coronavirus and stay-at-home orders have led to a big drop in lottery ticket sales, which are down 13.3% in the first 10 months of the fiscal year, making the lottery unlikely to muster enough cash to make its full $1 billion contribution.

NJ Turnpike Authority Approves Turnpike, GSP Toll Hikes
The New Jersey Turnpike Authority commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a plan that raises tolls 36% on the turnpike and 27% on the Garden State Parkway, a vote that came after the panel heard hours of testimony that ranged from support for infrastructure projects during an economic crisis to dismay that the commissioner would act when much of the public is distracted by the coronavirus outbreak. The toll hikes are intended to pay for $24 billion in projects like widening long stretches of both state highways, a plan supported by numerous labor unions. But critics who chimed in during the commissioners' virtual meeting urged commissioners to postpone a vote and revise the plan, with one man describing the push to pass it as "Jersey depressing."

Hide The Silverware: Plastic Forks Rule As Restaurants Reopen
First, reusable grocery bags were lost to the coronavirus. Silverware and ceramic plates may be the next to go. As restaurants around California - and the country - reopen for full-service dining, the state says reusable tableware is fine with proper precautions. That's at odds with the CDC, which says disposable dishes, utensils, napkins and tablecloths should be the default.

Why Can't N.J. Reopen Its Motor Vehicle Agencies Like Other States Already Have?
Drivers who bought vehicles from another person have gotten an unwelcome surprise during the last two months - they can't get the license plates and registration they need to drive them, due to the coronavirus closing motor vehicle agencies. Drivers who've bought a vehicle from a private owner found out that registering their new ride requires an in-person transaction at motor vehicle agencies. But state Motor Vehicle Commission agencies were closed on March 16 to reduce exposure to COVID-19.

House to Vote on More-Flexible Small Business Loan Program
The U.S. House is expected to vote next week on altering the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to provide more flexibility to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, USA Today reports. The changes will help struggling companies stay afloat and keep workers on the payroll as pandemic closures continue. The U.S. Senate is expected to support the measure. Reps. Chip Roy and Dean Phillips sponsored the proposal which would lengthen the time businesses would have to bring workers back later than the initial June 30 deadline. The bill would also give more time for the loan forgiveness period because some companies will not be able to reopen as fast as others.



  Energy Information Agency Weekly Retail Gasoline Prices  
Each week, the Energy Information Administration publishes a list of average gasoline prices for the previous three weeks. NJGCA will begin including this list with the Weekly Road Warrior. Remember, these prices are reflective of self-serve everywhere except NJ.


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  Classifieds: For Sale and Help Wanted Ads  

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