If you cannot see the message, please click here
December 23, 2020
Follow NJGCA:

 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  
We are bringing you this Road Warrior a day early so our members (and staff) can prepare to celebrate Christmas. Unless something urgent comes up, we will not send a Road Warrior next week. For those of you who celebrate, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope the last few days of this tumultuous year brings you all much joy and happiness to start 2021 off right.
I know we said last week would be the final reminder, but I did not want to sacrifice one last opportunity to send a reminder to you about the following:
The deadline for decommissioning your Stage II Vacuum Assist Vapor Recovery Systems is December 23rd, 2020 TODAY. Some of you may have received an email from us regarding this. If you have received this letter and have not taken action, make sure you email Nick immediately at nick@njgca.org if you are in need of assistance. Do not leave a message at our office, the fastest contact method is via email. We will do our best to keep you out of trouble.
On January 1st, 2021 the state minimum wage will increase 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 BEFORE January 1st of any necessary changes, as they will not do this automatically.
After months of negotiations and setbacks, Congressional leaders in Washington announced a $900 billion "rescue package" on Sunday evening. The legislation aims to deliver economic relief to small businesses and unemployed citizens impacted by the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
The bill follows four earlier COVID-19 "relief" bills (and is the first since April). Previous relief measures included:
  • The "Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020" which was made law on March 6, 2020 (commonly referred to as "Phase 1" and allocated $8.3 billion for vaccine research and development).
  • The "Families First Coronavirus Response Act", enacted on March 18, 2020 (known as "Phase 2" and earmarked roughly $104 billion for paid sick leave and unemployment benefits).
  • The "CARES Act", which was signed into law on March 27, 2020 (commonly called "Phase 3" and introduced the Paycheck Protection Program or "PPP").
  • The "Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act" which became law in April 21, 2020 (referred to as "Phase 3.5", which added an additional $484 billion to the PPP program, along with additional funding for COVID testing and medical facilities).
The latest bill, "the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021" authorizes $2.3 trillion in new spending ($900 billion in COVID relief, plus $1.4 trillion in spending for 2021).
The final bill was an unwieldy 5,593-page behemoth, filled with government spending programs and COVID stimulus measures. Among the highlights are:
  • A direct payment of up to $600 per adult and child.
  • $25 billion in rental assistance (including extending the moratorium on evictions).
  • An additional $284 billion in PPP funds (which may be forgivable) for struggling small businesses. Within this allocation is $15 billion "in dedicated funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions"
  • A tax credit to assist employers "offering paid sick leave"
  • An enhancement to unemployment benefits of $300 per week.
  • Additional $10 billion to help with child care assistance
  • Additional $82 billion for schools and colleges
  • Billions in funding to assist with COVID-19 vaccine distribution and testing
As of this writing, President Trump has not signed the legislation into law. Reports have indicated that the President is unhappy with the "excesses" in the bill and hints he may veto the legislation. Reports also state the President has taken issue with the amount of direct payment to residents, and wishes to see these payouts rise from $600 to $2,000 per person. If the bill isn't signed into law, the federal government will shut down on December 29th.
You can read more on the measure in greater detail by clicking HERE.
Not to be outdone by national leaders in D.C., state legislators also passed their own economic package in Trenton.
The "New Jersey Economic Recovery Act of 2020" was the big news over the last week, authorizing a six-year, $11.5 billion tax incentive program and setting aside $2.5 billion for "transformative projects."
The state has been without a tax incentive program for approximately 18 months.  A similar program was created in 2013, but was permitted to sunset after Governor Murphy criticized how the funds were awarded by the state's Economic Development Authority. The new legislation creates specific caps and an independent inspector general to safeguard against misappropriations.
We generally approve of the measure, it is no secret that New Jersey's business climate is less-than-welcoming --- and that was before COVID ravaged the state's economy.  The overwhelming bulk of the funds create tax incentives for businesses to relocate to the Garden State, as well as encourage existing New Jersey-based companies not to leave. The remaining $2.5 billion will be used to fund ten "transformative projects" (such as large-scale affordable housing), allocate monies to historic preservation, environmental remediation, and other projects.
We were happy to see that the bill includes $50 million in appropriations for "Main Street" mom n' pop shops. But candidly, it doesn't go nearly far enough to help the small business community; especially as the pandemic lockdown has prevented many companies to curb hours or shut-down entirely. There are rumblings of another "Main Street assistance" bill on the horizon after the Christmas and New Year holidays, but as of now there is no legislation to point to.
Our general approval aside, in typical New Jersey fashion, there was lots of drama surrounding this effort. The bill was introduced, amended, and passed at lightning speed. To give you an idea of how quickly it all took place, the bill was introduced last Friday and was passed by both houses of the Legislature on Monday. Keep in mind, there were 142 pages of last-minute amendments; with a further promise to "clean up" the law in a future legislative session. Less than three hours of public testimony were taken in committee, and the final passage on Monday took about an hour (in both houses, no less). That makes warp speed seem like a snail crawl.
Governor Murphy is expected to sign the legislation.
You can read more about the bill by clicking HERE.
Once again....Merry Christmas!
Be Well -  
Sal Risalvato
Executive Director




  Training Class Schedule  

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

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



  News Around The State  

Massive $14B Corporate Tax Break Bill Heads To Murphy's Desk Less Than A Week After It Was Announced
Less than a week after it was introduced, a massive $14 billion corporate tax break bill that aims to boost the state economy by attracting businesses to New Jersey and encourage others not to leave is heading to Gov. Phil Murphy's desk. The 200-page proposal passed the full state Legislature on Monday, just days after lawmakers saw the legislation for the first time Friday, the same day it was voted out of the state Senate Budget and Assembly Appropriations committees. Murphy is expected to sign the bill.

Can Employers Require Workers To Take The Coronavirus Vaccine?
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, some New Jerseyans have been able to work at home. But as vaccination efforts begin in the state, officials say we're probably only a few months away from widespread vaccine availability. That could be a game-changer for employees who have spent months away from the office. It also raises a lot of questions. Employers are required to keep their workplaces safe, but what happens if some workers don't want to take a vaccine? Can your boss require it? What if you take the vaccine but your coworkers don't? Do you have any rights?

Convenience Stores Prioritized for Vaccine Distribution
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted yesterday to recommend that frontline essential workers-including employees in the convenience store industry-be next in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In their recommendations for the second phase, Phase 1-B of vaccination distribution, the committee prioritized frontline essential workers and adults older than age 75 years. Yesterday's vote follows the CDC's recommendation for the first phase, Phase 1-A, that prioritized health-care professionals and long-term care facility residents. States and local governments will ultimately determine how the vaccine is distributed to each category, but many officials are expected to heed the CDC's recommendations. For this reason, NACS has been urging the CDC to prioritize the industry's workforce in their recommendations.

Contactless Payments Win Over Consumers
The pandemic has increased grocery and other online shopping, while correspondingly fueling consumer appetite for new contactless payment options in the checkout line, Progressive Grocer reports. . . New data from ACI Worldwide and PYMNTS.com shows that 35% of consumers would be willing to leave their preferred grocers for others that allow them to pay in-store in a touchless manner. The survey also found contactless credit cards (43%) and contactless debit cards (39%) are the two most preferred touchless payment options, followed by digital wallets (30%), cards on file (25%) and QR codes (18%).



  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