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December 10, 2020
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  


We have received messages at the office from some consumers complaining of attendants not wearing masks while fueling customer's vehicles.  I thought I should write about this because just last night I witnessed this for myself when I went to fill up at a local gas station. There were three employees there, none were wearing masks and had an unprofessional appearance. I had to caution the attendant to stand back as I felt uncomfortable with him breathing into my car. Even though attendants are working outside, they are required to wear a mask! The governor's Executive Order 163 mandates face coverings to be worn outdoors when social distancing is not possible (such as while you are interacting with the customer in their car while filling up). You can read that Executive Order HERE.
We have made this point quite a few times throughout the pandemic, but try to think of your customers that may be very uncomfortable with employees interacting with them and touching their belongings while not wearing PPE. Especially right now with the virus being spread at crisis proportions. Your attendants represent your business, and unprofessional employees indicate an unprofessional business. I made a decision not to go back to this gas station after this experience, even though it is my local station. Don't be that business that a customer rules out because of unprofessionalism.

The state Legislature has been holding committee meetings throughout this week on a wide variety of bills, few of which have been related to the coronavirus pandemic. The most important bill of this week for our members is A-5032, which is being heard today (Thursday) in the Assembly Transportation Committee on electric vehicle charging stations. One provision of this bill would require that in order for a business to get site plan approval from their local zoning board (whether that be for a new location or changes to an existing one), they would have to install at least one Level 2 electric vehicle charging station if they have any form of off-street parking. These Level 2 chargers typically cost about $5,000. While the cost of this new mandate would be bad enough for any business (and those locations with more than 50 spaces would have to install additional chargers), it is particularly problematic for our members who only have a handful of spots that need to be readily accessible to customers. Level 2 chargers take about 4 hours to charge a battery, but a convenience store customer is typically in and out within about 10 minutes, so there is no demand for a charge that slow. While we have no objections to the State providing incentives for businesses to choose to install charging stations, we object to an unfunded mandate to require them. We have been working with the sponsor, along with our allies at the Fuel Merchants Association and Food Council, and are hopeful that the bill will be amended in committee to exempt retail businesses with smaller lots from this mandate. We will update you next week on whether or not that change is made.
Speaking of EV charging, we recently hosted a two-part webinar series on the subject with Chargepoint. The first presentation covered the basics of EV charging and market trends, while the second dove further into profitability, construction, and utilities information. Both are currently available to watch and view on our website, along with a PDF of the slides and the rest of our previously recorded webinars.
A reminder that on January 1st, 2021 the state minimum wage will increase again, up to $12 an hour. For a business with fewer than six employees, the rate increases to $11.10 an hour. Remember to inform your payroll company of any changes, as they will not do this automatically. It is unfortunate that given the severe strains the pandemic has placed on businesses, especially small businesses that this mandated increase in labor costs is happening automatically. The business community requested that there be a temporary delay in the wage increase this year, but the governor came out strongly against it, saying he was more concerned with the workers being paid higher wages than he was concerned about the cost increases to employers.
As we move closer into a new year, a new presidency, and a long winter in a pandemic; another COVID stimulus package has yet to be announced amid a growing number of virus diagnosis. There has been bipartisan support over a second stimulus check after the federal government sent $1,200 payments to most Americans earlier this year, though no relief has been distributed since. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's proposal had included liability protection, along with PPP loans and money for vaccine distribution and education, though recently he has backed off of liability protection measures in a relief package. This week amid this discussion in D.C., NJGCA sent a letter to Senator Bob Menendez urging immediate federal action in distributing relief for small businesses. In the letter, we note three changes we would like to see made to the PPP program: To allow small businesses to take a second draw of the PPP, ensure the expenses covered by a PPP loan are still tax deductible, and to support the inclusion of some form of liability protection provision. You can read that letter to Senator Menendez HERE. You can also send a message to your members of Congress urging them to take action HERE.
This week marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. The holiday celebrates a miracle; that a small supply of oil lasted for eight nights of light. With news this week of vaccines beginning to be distributed throughout the world, this celebration of a miracle happening seems especially poignant, and has us hopeful that by next holiday season we will be celebrating differently. For those celebrating, have a wonderful holiday!
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  

U.K. Gets First Solo Electric Charging Station
Britain's first all-electric service station opened Dec. 7, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently unveiled plans to push out combustible engine vehicles in 2030, Bloomberg reports. The Essex station is the first of 100 electric-only stations planned by Gridserve and Hitachi Capital U.K. PLC. The stations are part of $1.35 billion program to put electric charging stations across the United Kingdom. Each station will have 36 rapid chargers powered solely via renewable energy. . . In the U.K., sales of battery-powered electric vehicles skyrocketed 122% in November from a year earlier, while hybrid sales jumped 77%, according to recent industry data.

30% Of N.J.'s MVC Agencies Closed Due To Coronavirus Cases
Drivers woke up Monday morning to find 12 state Motor Vehicle Commission agencies closed, the latest being the Freehold agency where an employee tested positive for the coronavirus. The Freehold closure means 30% of the state's MVC 39 agencies are shut down and reflects reported coronavirus cases hitting new highs in the state on Sunday. The Freehold licensing center is scheduled to reopen Dec. 17. The employee who tested positive was last in the agency on Dec. 2. The Freehold Inspection Station is in a separate building and remains open, said William Connolly, an MVC spokesman.

U.S. House Votes to Legalize Marijuana
The Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted 228 to 164 Friday to remove marijuana from the federal list of controlled substances, marking the first time either chamber of Congress has voted to ease restrictions on marijuana since a ban was imposed in 1970, the Washington Post reports. Although passage in the Senate appears unlikely, it's a step toward lifting the barrier to nationwide sales of cannabis and providing a framework for its taxation. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, sponsored by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) who introduced it in July 2019, would regulate and tax cannabis production and create grant programs for people or communities affected by the federal crackdown on illegal drug use. It also would expunge some federal marijuana convictions dating back to 1971.

Can Employers Require COVID-19 Vaccines?
A COVID-19 vaccine will soon hit the market, and while the first doses will be reserved for health-care workers, employers, especially those of essential workers, are already asking if they can require staff to be inoculated, the Washington Post reports. "Until maybe about a month ago, we hadn't had many clients asking about it," said Brett Coburn, a partner with the law firm Alston & Bird. "We're starting to see a lot more momentum." Questions have been swirling about whether employers can require the vaccine, if they should use incentives to generate compliance, and how they can respond to employees who refuse the shot. "If someone's not willing to wear a mask, do you think they're going to put a shot in their body?" Coburn asked. Guidance on this question has yet to be given from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC). The EEOC "is actively evaluating how a potential vaccine would interact with employers' obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the other laws the Commission enforces," said Christine Nazer, an EEOC spokeswoman.

End Of The Road For Haynes Printed Repair Manuals, The Future Is Digital
Haynes Publishing will cease printing new versions of its iconic repair manuals as it shifts focus to digital publishing, the company announced Thursday. "Contrary to reports Haynes is not stopping printing Manuals," the company said in a tweet. "Whilst we will no longer publish new print Workshop Manuals, we will continue to print and publish our huge back catalogue." Haynes added that it is working on "a new automotive maintenance and repair product that covers around 95% of car makes and models-an increase of around 40% over our current Workshop Manual coverage." However, the company hasn't provided any other details.



  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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