If you cannot see the message, please click here
December 3, 2020
Follow NJGCA:

 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  

A number of you who have received our email communication regarding the Stage II vacuum assist vapor recovery decommissioning deadline have informed us that they have already decommissioned their systems. Again, I want to remind you that we knew the list we received would have locations listed that had already been decommissioned. If you know you are one of these businesses, please disregard our warnings on this issue. This list had about 500 locations, and we were aware there would be some locations on the list that would have been decommissioned prior to the list being updated.
We previously mentioned the NJ EDA Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program effort to provide discounted PPE to designated vendors that purchase in bulk. Since that previous communication, the discount to small businesses with less than 100 employees has increased from 25% to a 65% discount. The deadline for applications is December 10th. You can find out if you qualify for this discount by visiting the link above.
Before Thanksgiving, Republican lawmakers were pushing for additional COVID aid for small businesses and nonprofits amid lack of funding for small businesses and slow turnaround to distribute already existing funds. Though unsuccessful in acquiring any additional aid before Thanksgiving, there has been more discussions in D.C. about another stimulus before they break for the holidays. We will be sure to notify you if we hear anything more on this.
Michelle, our Communications and Research Director (who is a frequent social media user) notified me that recently she had noticed on local Facebook groups an increase in the number of complaints of businesses being accused of price gouging. They even ask the members of these Facebook groups how they can report these businesses. Consumers may often think that you are marking up products improperly when you are not. However, when they make complaints it compels the Department of Consumer Affairs to show up for an investigation. If the Department of Consumer Affairs comes to your business, any infraction they find and cite you for is fair game, even if they do not find any instances of price gouging. Unfortunately for several members, even though they did not find price gouging violations, they found other violations and were cited for those. If they get enough complaints, Consumer Affairs will show up and cite you. Recent press releases from the Attorney General have also acknowledged they have found other infractions when they went in, and are encouraging consumers to file complaints.
We have had several members let us know that Consumer Affairs have visited them and found infractions. Therefore, I find it necessary to remind our members that the State Of Emergency that went into effect March 9th is the base line that the price gouging law refers to. It is important that you maintain a record of the invoices on all of the products that you purchased for sale. I always ask you to put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. What do you expect when you walk into a particular business? Are you living up to the standards that you desire as a consumer? Make corrections to your business as needed.
Thank you to those of you who were able to join our webinar this week on electric vehicles conducted by ChargePoint. If you were not able to attend, you can view a PDF of the slides HERE or listen to the entire webinar HERE. Next week, they will join us again for part II of this webinar series, where we will cover profitability of installing EV charging stations more in depth. You can register for next week's webinar by clicking HERE
A very special thank you to those of you who contributed to the NJGCA Young Professionals annual Turkey Drive. They may have had to change up a few things from previous years, but thanks to all of your generous contributions we exceeded our $3,000 monetary goal and managed to raise $3,768 for the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. According to the Food Bank $1 provides three meals, meaning we were able to donate 11,304 meals to those in need throughout the state.
Human resource management in convenience is essential, much like the industry itself. This year has never been so important - with unemployment hitting historic levels and competition to get employees back to work - the future is uncertain and HR data analytics and benchmarking are critical. We would like to urge our retail members to participate in the C-store compensation survey currently being conducted by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). The survey includes metrics on compensation, turnover, benefits, recruitment and retention and the report is considered an essential guide for HR professionals. In return for confidentially submitting your company's data, you'll receive a complimentary copy of the published report -- a $349 value. Completed surveys are due December 18, 2020.
You can find more information and the link to participate here or contact Jayme Gough, research manager at NACS, at jgough@convenience.org.
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
December 16th & 17th, 2020

If you, a colleague, or an employee technician wishes to become a NJ Emissions Inspector, now is your chance! NJGCA will offer two upcoming two-day classes 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.

We are offering the class: 

Wednesday December 16th, 7:00am to 4:00pm & Thursday, December 17th, 12:30
Click HERE for the December registration form. 

Contact Nick De Palma at Nick@njgca.org to inquire on additional class dates



  News Around The State  

Renewed Hopes for a COVID-19 Stimulus Package

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D.-N.Y.) yesterday signaled willingness to consider a $908 billion stimulus plan unveiled Tuesday by a bipartisan group of U.S. senators that's aimed at breaking the deadlocked negotiations around COVID-19 relief, the Washington Post reports. Congress faces mounting pressure to act before Dec. 31 on a new stimulus measure. Provisions in the newly proposed plan include:

  • $180 billion in aid for jobless Americans, including $300 federal weekly unemployment benefits
  • $240 billion in new Paycheck Protection Program assistance for small businesses
  • $160 billion in funding for state and local governments
  • $51 billion in new health-care and vaccine-related funds
  • Short term federal protection from COVID-19 related lawsuits with the purpose of giving states time to develop their own responses.

States Scramble to Allocate COVID-19 Vaccine
Health-care workers and people who live in long-term care facilities should be first in line for COVID-19 inoculations once vaccines are approved, an advisory panel to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended yesterday. The final decision on who gets priority ultimately rests with state and local officials, although they are expected to follow CDC advice. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted 13-1 to recommend that about 21 million health-care professionals and about three million residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities get the first doses, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Here's Why A Second Round Of PPP Loans Could Fall Short For Battered Small Businesses
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., quashed a new Covid-19 rescue bill hours after it was proposed on Tuesday, leaving small businesses uncertain about their future. Bipartisan lawmakers introduced a $908 billion relief package on Tuesday morning. The measure was dead in the water by that afternoon, when McConnell rejected it. The measure would have set aside $288 billion in aid for small businesses, including offering firms a second round of loans through the Paycheck Protection Program - a forgivable loan program established by the CARES Act this spring.

Statewide Coronavirus Lockdown Isn't Imminent For N.J. Despite Rumors, Murphy Says
While Gov. Phil Murphy has repeatedly declined to rule out the possibility of another statewide shutdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus' second wave, he insisted Monday he has no immediate plans to announce a lockdown. . . Without providing any specifics about the rumors, Murphy batted down the idea he would enact strict measures he ordered in March and April when the pandemic first hit the state. But the governor hasn't ruled out a lockdown. As recently as Sunday, he said a statewide shutdown is still "on the table" as he warned New Jerseyans are "in the fight of our lives" over the next three months during a television interview. "It has to stay on the table," Murphy said on "Fox News Sunday," adding, "God willing, we won't have to."

Mass. 'Right To Repair' Law Faces New Court Fight
The renewed fight over "right to repair" has taken another turn just weeks after Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative that expands access to vehicle data. The measure updates the state's law by requiring automakers to equip vehicles that use telematics - which collect and wirelessly transmit information such as crash notifications and remote diagnostics - with a standardized open-access data platform that is accessible to vehicle owners or third parties such as repair shops starting with the 2022 model year. But now major automakers allege in a federal lawsuit that the revised law poses cybersecurity and vehicle safety risks and the short timeline sets an "impossible task" for compliance.

Who Will Miss the Coins When They're Gone?
Coins are everywhere until they're nowhere, and at the moment they're hard to find. By upending normal habits, the pandemic has dropped them out of circulation and accelerated a trend toward cards, apps and other cashless payments that could eventually make coins obsolete. China has plans for a digital currency, and the U.S. Federal Reserve is doing "research and experimentation." Facebook has a currency in the works, and Bitcoin's evangelists are still preaching. Millions of Americans are skipping right over coins by paying with their phones - or shopping on them. "There's a battle for the future of money going on," said Alex Tapscott, a co-founder of the Blockchain Research Institute, a Canadian firm. Governments, banks, credit card companies and online communities are among the factions trying to change how people make payments, he said. "As for cash," he added, "an elegy is in order."

Essential Businesses Need COVID-19 Vaccine Access
NACS joined with three other industry trade groups to seek second priority for employees of essential businesses, including convenience and fuel retailers, for a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available-once health-care workers are vaccinated for the disease. In a letter sent yesterday to Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NACS, the Energy Marketers of America, NATSO and SIGMA commended the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for its playbook guiding state and local health departments in planning how vaccines will be distributed. Health-care professionals get first priority in Phase 1-A, followed by essential workers of businesses that are part of the critical infrastructure workforce as part of Phase 1-B distribution. That priority group would include frontline workers in the convenience and fuel retailing industry and related food and fuel distribution sectors.

Op-ed: The Big And Costly Flaw In Gov. Murphy's Energy Master Plan
Over the course of the past few weeks, we have turned the clocks back and the thermostats up, which means winter isn't far behind. This year's winter festivities will be very different, and ho/pefully we can return to normal next year. Unfortunately, in the coming years, winter will be very different as a result of another heretofore unknown visitor: Gov. Phil Murphy's Energy Master Plan. Whether you agree or disagree, Gov. Murphy campaigned on generating electricity from renewable sources and powering cars with electricity. Therefore, the Energy Master Plan (EMP) seeking to implement these policies is no surprise. However, forcing the 87% of New Jerseyans who use natural gas, oil or propane to surrender our existing central heating systems for electric heat is a surprise since it is not something the governor campaigned on. Nevertheless, the EMP is moving forward with this radical transformation of our state, and there may be nothing for the Legislature to do but watch.

GOP Lawmakers Call For Immediate $300M In Covid Aid For NJ Businesses
Republican lawmakers are calling for the state Senate and Assembly to convene before Thanksgiving in order to approve $300 million in emergency aid for small businesses and nonprofits affected by the pandemic. For months, the opposition party has been criticizing the Murphy administration for being too slow to award the $2.39 billion in CARES Act funding that the state received from the federal government. Republicans also criticized Murphy for allocating $450 million of CARES Act funds to pay government workers despite having a budget surplus. They also faulted him for vetoing bipartisan and unanimously passed legislation last month that would have awarded $30 million to restaurants who took a hit when Murphy backtracked on an early July reopening date. Murphy said the legislation would have been redundant because a week earlier he had announced $35 million in CARES Act funds for restaurants.

NJ's Largest Health Insurance Company Looking To Restructure
New Jersey's largest health insurance company is once again seeking state permission to overhaul its corporate structure and modernize its business practices. Doing so, it says, will allow it to make greater investments in new technology, seek additional partnership opportunities and explore other steps designed to reduce the cost of care. The renewed move by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey - last attempted in December 2019 and under discussion for years - comes at a critical time with the nation's struggle to respond to COVID-19 highlighting the need for new treatments and models of care. The transition depends on legislation now being drafted by Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Union) to create a process by which Horizon could separate its health insurance operations, which cover some 3.6 million New Jerseyans, and the accompanying risk, from other aspects of the business. The bill is expected to be introduced by Monday, if not sooner.



  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.


  Member Benefit Partner Message Board  



  Classifieds: For Sale and Help Wanted Ads  

Parts For Sale: Incon TS-1000 tank monitor works well just taken out of service. Printer is aprox 2 months old. Also, Incon 8, tank probes. System replaced because on an Exxon upgrade. Call John Twin Towers Exxon (201) 224-8444