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January 14, 2021
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  

Last week we included information about pre-registering for the COVID-19 vaccine in our Road Warrior newsletter. Governor Murphy announced Wednesday afternoon that beginning TODAY, Thursday, New Jersey residents that meet the following criteria will be eligible to receive the vaccine:
  • Age 65+
  • Between ages 16-64 with medical conditions as defined by the CDC that increase the risk of severe illness from the virus 
If you pre-registered for the vaccine and received confirmation and notice of your designated phase, you should be receiving an email shortly regarding scheduling your appointment for the vaccine. If you pre-registered and did not receive an email stating which phase you are in, retake the survey to see if you may be eligible now. If you did not yet pre-register, click the link above and do so now! This news is just breaking as I am writing this; I hopefully will have more to report by next week as to the process of scheduling an appointment to get the actual vaccine. 
For those of you not in the designated groups to receive vaccinations next, members have been asking and we've been trying with no success to get the governor to declare our workers a priority for the vaccine. However, it seems as if there is no appetite to make any employees in any essential business a priority, other than healthcare employees which have already begun receiving the vaccine.
We want to remind our members that we have been involved in this fight from the beginning of this pandemic to be seen as essential workers and that our employees should be among the first to be vaccinated as vaccines become available. Last week we sent a letter to the governor outlining that our employees are expected to report to work every day and are required to interact with customers on a daily basis. As such, they should be prioritized to receive a vaccine. You can read that letter HERE.
We also recently joined a webinar that included advisors to state officials regarding vaccinations in the workplace. While employers can mandate employees get vaccinated, it may be equally important for employers to engage in an interactive process with employees in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and prevent any business closure. While employers can always mandate, there may be circumstances in which your employee may not be able to get the vaccine (medical or religious). An interactive process between employer and employee will be important and necessary to determine any accommodations that can be made such as a temporary change of position. Even after the vaccine, the precautionary measures we are currently taking (mask wearing, extra hand washing, social distancing, avoiding gatherings, etc) will be in place for a while even after the population has been vaccinated. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced last Friday that they will begin accepting new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) again starting January 11th, 2021. However, only loans going through a "community financial institution," were eligible for the first few days. To find out if your bank is considered a community financial institution, you can visit THIS LINK.
  • If you bank with a community financial institution and you have not received a PPP loan before, you are eligible to apply starting Monday, January 11th
  • If you bank with a community financial institution and you have previously received a PPP loan, you are eligible to apply for a second round of PPP loans starting Wednesday, January 13th
  • Starting Friday January 15th, SBA will start processing loans from small lenders, including community banks, credit unions, and institutions with less than $1 billion in assets.
  • Starting Tuesday, January 19th, SBA will accept applications for 1st and 2nd PPP loans from all approved lenders.
  • To receive a second PPP forgivable loan you must have suffered a 25% decline in gross revenue in any quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019. The amount of the loan is still your average monthly payroll multiplied by 2.5. The money can only be spent on certain approved expenses--including payroll, rent, mortgage interest, utilities, and a few other expenses which have been newly added such as PPE costs. If 60% of the money is spent on payroll then the entire loan will be eligible for forgiveness. You will now have 24 weeks to spend the money (it was 8 weeks under the original rules).
  • Applications for a PPP loan will end on March 31st or when the federal money runs out. We encourage you to reach out to your preferred lender now and to get your information together so you can be first in line. 
For more information visit the SBA PPP website: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program
Read their new announcement:
An excellent summary of the program and some of the changes:
Additionally, our MBP Heartland Payroll, who some of you may have worked with in the first round of PPP, is available to process loans immediately:

Heartland Capital is ready and able to provide these loans through Lendio, their national lending partner! The process is relatively easy.  Please reach out to Scott Seidman.
This is a good time to discuss your payroll needs with Scott. Now is a great time to speak to him and receive a comparison quote versus your current payroll systems. Chances are you have not seen your payroll representative in a long time, and are not aware of the latest and greatest products and services out there. Also chances are their pricing has increased considerably since when you first signed up.
Scott can help out in both areas, and provide you much better customer service. Scott's contact is below:
Scott Seidman
Senior Product Advisor
Heartland Payment Systems
Mobile 908-334-4778

Usually at this time of the year we receive calls from members regarding compliance calendars. This year may be a slightly different from previous years, you may remember that NJGCA used to have physical calendars delivered to us from NJDEP that we then distributed through the mail to each of you. The cost of printing these calendars was extremely high, and the state stopped producing them years ago. Luckily, in these pandemic times, we can easily access the calendar on our website and so you can print out yourselves.
I hope you all take the time to read Michelle's Energy Examiner piece in the On the Road newsletter that will be in your mailboxes soon, as it contains information you all should be following with regards to alternative fuels. This week, data was released that shows that the pandemic has had an effect on greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., in fact showing the greatest decrease in thirty years. As there are news and developments that affect how the government will be dealing with future clean energy, we will continue to report this news to you. We are slowly but surely moving into a future that prioritizes clean energy lifestyles (including vehicles).
The clock is ticking with only a few months left until the EMV deadline, which places the responsibility on station owners for all fraudulent activity at pumps that don't support EMV. Join us to learn about the numerous options to upgrade your pumps and protect your stations. We will provide field examples of retrofit installations and even installs with no kits. Whether it is a full pump replacement or a cost-effective, simplified retrofit, it will be critical that every station upgrades. Click here to register.
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  

In Election Year State Of The State Speech, Murphy Touts His Record, Accomplishments
Gov. Phil Murphy delivered his annual State of the State address on Tuesday, calling for unity as he embarks on his reelection campaign in the midst of a pandemic that continues to rage in New Jersey. Reflecting on the toll the coronavirus has taken on them, small business owners, a Trenton public school teacher who lost a loved one to Covid-19 and an emergency room nurse were among the state residents who appeared in video clips just before the governor delivered his address to an empty auditorium at the Trenton War Memorial. . .Though key planks of his 2017 campaign platform remain unfulfilled - most notably marijuana legalization and the formation of a state bank - Murphy used his remarks Tuesday to focus on major policy achievements of the last three years as he kicks off a reelection campaign against a surprisingly narrow Republican field.

N.J. To Expand Covid Vaccine Eligibility To People 65 And Older, Murphy Says
New Jersey will expand the COVID vaccine eligibility to people 65 and older within days following a change in federal guidelines, Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday morning. "We were already headed in that direction and we'll have news on that midday," Murphy said during a live interview on PIX-11. "You should assume we'll be all over that and we're going to open this up. I'm happy and gratified the CDC has come to the same conclusion. It'll be very soon, in the next day or two." . . . People 65 or older who live, work or study in New Jersey will be eligible. They will still need to pre-register on the state's website and then make an appointment.

Consumer Spending At C-stores Strengthens
Shoppers at U.S. convenience stores opened up their wallets a bit more in the lead up to the year-end holidays, and the foodservice, general merchandise and hot dispensed beverages categories benefited from the increased spend per transaction compared with the year-earlier period, according to the latest monthly report from PDI and NACS on how COVID-19 is affecting consumer behavior. . . In an encouraging sign, the battered foodservice category inched up +2.9 points on a dollar basis because of a steady increase in trips, while general merchandise climbed +7.3 points, and hot dispensed beverages eked out a +0.3 point gain. Still, foodservice and hot dispensed beverages remain in negative territory, while general merchandise has benefited throughout much of the pandemic.

COVID-19 Took a Bite From U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions in 2020
America's greenhouse gas emissions from energy and industry plummeted more than 10 percent in 2020, reaching their lowest levels in at least three decades as the coronavirus pandemic slammed the brakes on the nation's economy, according to an estimate published Tuesday by the Rhodium Group.

N.J. Covid Vaccine: Can Employers Require That Workers Take The Coronavirus Vaccine?
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, some New Jerseyans have been able to work at home. But as vaccination efforts continue to ramp up 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? Here's what you should expect.

New York Tobacco Flavor Ban Would Hurt Small Businesses
Outlawing the sale of flavored tobacco products for adults-such as cherry pipe tobacco and menthol cigarettes-would deepen New York State's budget hole, threaten the survival of thousands of mom-and-pop retailers, and place the jobs of frontline workers at these businesses at risk. That's the conclusion of an economic study performed by Regional Economic Models Inc. (REMI) for the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS). . . Legislation introduced in the state Senate and Assembly would bar New York's 21,000 licensed tobacco outlets from selling flavored tobacco products to age-verified customers. A law that took effect July 1, 2020, already prohibits them from selling flavored vaping products. New York City additionally bans the sale of flavored non-cigarette tobacco products.

With Congress Approving Up To $284 Billion To Loans, Small Businesses Can Apply For Paycheck Protection Starting Jan. 11
The Paycheck Protection Program will reopen on Jan. 11, offering forgivable loans to small businesses and allowing certain cash-strapped firms to borrow a second time, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Congress authorized up to $284 billion toward the small business loan program as part of the sweeping Covid relief act that went into effect near the end of 2020. That measure also included additional aid for small businesses in the form of tax deductibility for expenses covered by PPP, as well as tax credits for firms that kept their employees on payroll and simplified forgiveness for loans under $150,000. This time, the SBA and Treasury Department have staggered the reopening.That means at first only community financial institutions - this includes banks and credit unions that lend in low-income communities -- will be able to initiate PPP loan applications on Jan. 11.

N.J. COVID Vaccine: Here Are The 21 Questions You Need To Answer To Pre-Register For The Vaccine
Now that New Jersey's vaccine portal is open, only 21 questions and less than ten minutes in front of the computer stand between you and pre-registering for a vaccine. "COVID-19 vaccines are on the way to hospitals and clinics across New Jersey. You can reserve your spot to get a vaccine now by pre-registering here," reads a message before the questionnaire begins.



  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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