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June 25, 2020
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  Executive Directors Message  


A heads up for our Monmouth county members: We have learned that the county will allocate $10 million from the CARES Act to supplement the Community Development Block Grant - Coronavirus (CDBG-CV). Small businesses in the county with under 50 employees may be eligible for up to $10,000. As soon as this becomes available, look for an alert from us. Additionally, Essex and Ocean counties are offering a similar opportunity, but are doing it in conjunction with the EDA, therefore if you already applied to those small business grants you are automatically eligible without needing to reapply. Essex and Ocean Counties will have additional monies allocated.  If your business is located in those counties and have not already applied, you can do so HERE.
We're pleased to announce that our training classes will resume!
Throughout the COVID lock down we've heard from members asking about our instructional courses; and obviously could not accommodate them. The current crisis is not over, but there's some light at the end of the tunnel. Social and business mandates are slowly beginning to ease, and we are hopeful the current trajectory continues so we're back to "normal" soon.
In light of such progress, we are scheduling a NJ Emissions Inspector training class for September 16th and 17th for members and non-members to take advantage of. Though we had hoped to schedule it sooner, we wanted to also make sure that all the social, governmental, and commercial health directives align to avoid any possible issues. Holding the class in September not only allows our partners at MVC to get back to work and attack any pent-up backlogs, but also permits the current restrictions (and potential fallout) to completely dissipate and work themselves out before we host you at our headquarters. That kind of caution is warranted under the current climate, and we want to make sure you and our staff are both protected and safe.
Of course, we are all aware that we're living through a very unique public health crisis and everything is subject to change. We can't predict the future any better than you can. If circumstances outpace us and we're forced to cancel the class, we will consult with our partners at MVC and reschedule it as soon as we can.
We'll cross that bridge if we ever get to it. In the meantime, please see the class detail below for further information.
We sent our latest economic update survey out, thank you to those who took the time to complete it and sent it back to us. We are compiling the information and will use the data to help us keep Trenton informed and create more ways to help you through this crisis. We are still hoping to gather more input from members. If you have not done so please take a few minutes to complete and submit THIS SURVEY, it should not take you long to complete and the information helps us to help you.
Unfortunately, there are always people willing and ready to take advantage of others, even during a global crisis such as this one. Because of the crisis, business owners' guards may be down and may not catch the latest scam we recently became aware of. People have been showing up at convenience stores posing as corporate staff and are collecting cash and receipts from store owners. These people are somewhat knowledgeable about gas stations and convenience stores, so they may be more convincing than the average customer. It's easier to get caught in a scam like this right now, while no cases of this scam have been documented in New Jersey yet, it's good to be on guard. You can read more about it HERE.
We continue our work with our other small business associations on a variety of different issues concerning our members to try to protect you from harmful legislation. We have regular meetings together via zoom throughout the week and everyone is in total agreement that the legislature should postpone the scheduled minimum wage increase on January 1st. We will be working to accomplish this. There are legislators that are in agreement, but as of now the governor does not seem to be receptive. We will keep you all updated on our efforts with this as it is likely we will need you to contact your legislator and Governor Murphy.
As you all should already know, the 2019 income tax filing and payment deadline was extended to July 15th, 2020 from April 15th due to the Coronavirus crisis. As of now this is the final deadline. There is a possibility that the deadline could be extended again, we don't know. You should proceed as if the deadline will not move and should be consulting with your accountant.
If you have not already applied for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, the deadline to do so is June 30. There is still money available for new loans, although fewer banks are offering them. If you still want to apply for one, contact banks you already have a relationship with to see if they are still offering them. If not, reach out to Nick at nick@njgca.org and we will help find one.

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
September 16th & 17th, 2020

After a long delay due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, NJGCA is pleased to announce that our training classes will resume! If you, a colleague, or an employee technician wishes to become a NJ Emissions Inspector, we can help and now is your chance! NJGCA will offer a two-day class with all the information and training you need to become a NJ Emissions Inspector.
On day one you will receive in-class instruction from NJGCA's instructor. We will break for lunch (provided), and the State will administer the written test in the afternoon. On day two will go over the hands-on test at an emission inspection location to fully prepare you for the hands-on test.
In light of the current crisis, and to protect both students and staffers, all participants must wear facemasks at all times while on the premises and respect social-distancing guidelines.

September class registration click here



  News Around The State  

NJ Business Coalition Urges Safe Reopening of All Businesses Currently Closed
NJGCA signed on to a statement regarding the safe reopening of all businesses currently closed due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Credit Card Swipe Fees Continue to Thwart Merchants
Cash is becoming a rarity as shoppers increasingly rely on credit cards, apps and online purchases during the current pandemic. That's a growing problem for some retailers, such as Bump 'n Grind, an independent coffee and vinyl record shop, in Silver Spring, Maryland, according to the Wall Street Journal. . . For NACS members and retailers across the country, swipe fees are retailers' second-highest operating expense behind labor. Convenience retailers paid an estimated $11.8 billion in card fees in 2019, according to NACS State of the Industry data. Last year, cards represented 73.2% of sales transactions at convenience stores, NACS SOI data indicate. During the pandemic, cash sales have been down-which means more people are paying with debit or credit cards. A May NACS Consumer Survey found that the percentage of customers paying for gas by cash dropped from 21% to 14%, which may be the lowest it could go given how many consumers are shying away from handling cash in the current climate.

Monmouth Freeholders To Allocate $10 Million Of Cares Act Funding To County Small Business Community
On behalf of the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone is announcing that the County will allocate $10 million from the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act to supplement the Community Development Block Grant - Coronavirus (CDBG-CV). The funding will be utilized to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses with up to 50 employees.

Scammers Pose as C-Store Officials and Take Receipts
State Police in West Virginia are warning convenience store operators to be alert for a scam in which people posing as corporate headquarters staff are collecting receipts and cash from unsuspecting store clerks. The scam involves someone calling the store claiming to be a vice president or other chain official telling the store that a representative will stop by and collect receipts and money in a bank bag, according to a report by MetroNews. The caller provides the clerk with a confirmation number. Then the "official" appears at the store and recites the confirmation number to retrieve the bag with the cash, usually while the clerk is still on the phone with the scammer.



  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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