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February 4, 2021
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  

I want to bring to our members attention TWO opportunities for small businesses to obtain funds due to any losses incurred during this pandemic:
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) will open pre-registration for Phase 2 of its Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program at 9 a.m. EST on Wednesday, Feb.10, 2021. The second phase of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program will make up to $100,000 in low-cost financing available to eligible New Jersey small businesses that have been affected by the pandemic. The funding can be used to pay rent or mortgage, payroll, utilities, PPE or COVID-related inventory, furniture, fixtures, and/or equipment. Program applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first served basis, with priority given to applicants that have received no more than $10,000 in government assistance from any federal, state or local (county/municipal) assistance program. Important Note: If your business was already approved for a loan under Phase 1 of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program, it will be eligible under Phase 2 only for an amount that will not exceed $100,000 between the two phases. PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS A LOAN NOT A GRANT AND WILL NEED TO BE REPAID, BE AWARE OF THIS BEFORE YOU APPLY.
Governor Phil Murphy also announced an additional $5 million that has been allocated to the Small Business Lease - Emergency Assistance Grant Program (SBL-EAGP), which allows businesses in 64 legislatively designated municipalities to apply for grants of up to $10,000 for lease costs. Through the SBL-EAGP, small businesses located in NJRA's 64 legislatively designated municipalities that have been adversely impacted by COVID-19 can apply for up to $10,000 to assist with lease payments. Eligible applicants include:
     * Tenants leasing commercial space in mixed-use buildings,
     * Tenants leasing space in commercial buildings, and
     * Tenants leasing space to operate a storefront business
Find out if your business is located in an eligible municipality HERE.
A member was recently visited by a covert vehicle, and the interaction was notable enough that we thought to send out a quick procedural reminder to all our members. What occurred stems from the interplay between what is in the rules and what appears on a PIF computer workstation.
In this case, a covert car came into our member's shop and an inspection was performed. There were no issues with the inspection. However, the inspection sticker on the covert car was out of date, meaning the inspection sticker had lapsed well before the date of the covert inspection. Once the inspection was done, the PIF/member went to the workstation to enter the required information. 
Here's where the problem arises: The computer asked our member to "Enter the month and year of the sticker on the vehicle." The sticker was out of date. The member entered the information, and the computer told the member to issue a new sticker with the current month/year of the actual inspection. Unfortunately, this isn't correct. According to the manual, the inspectors always must start with the date on the sticker (if there is one on the vehicle). This is not a new phenomenon and this "glitch" has existed in the PIF workstation software for over a decade. For whatever reason, SGS and Parsons were never able to update or correct the mistake. In fact, INL students are taught about this when they are studying to earn their credentials and become inspectors. However, for anyone who is a new INL holder -- or just doesn't see this situation crop up often -- it can be confusing.
Thankfully, our member was experienced, recognized the problem, and consulted the manual. What's more, the covert driver was open enough to chat candidly with our member about the "dueling procedures" that this presents to inspectors. 
So what happens in this situation, and others like it?
After speaking to MVC, they strongly reminded us that if you are confused about what to do, you should always --- always --- make a phone call.
1 - First call your auditor. Every auditor is given a state-issued cellphone.
2 - If you can't get your auditor, call your regional office, below:
  • Westfield (Northern PIF Unit): 908-232-6295
  • Asbury Park (Central PIF Unit): 732-869-8335
  • Winslow (Southern PIF Unit): 609-567-8873
3 - If no one picks up at the regional office, then as a last resort, call the Trenton Inspection Services main number at 609-633-9460.
These resources are available Monday to Friday, from 8:00am to 5:00pm.
As an important housekeeping and memorializing point: Always write down the date, time, and person you spoke with who offered you the solution (e.g. "As per instructions by MVC Staffer "Jane Doe" on XX-XX-202X at X:XXpm...., I did A, B, C...").  Keep it with the inspection paperwork for the vehicle you're calling about. Later when you're audited and something looks amiss, you have a record of who advised you.
Obviously the logical follow-up question is "What do you do if you can't get a live body on the phone?" The answer is: look to the PIF Manual (CLICK HERE to review the current version). Whenever a confusing situation emerges, look to the table inside the manual listing a series of possible scenarios and solutions. You can find the table on Page 34 of the manual. This table helps you to determine when you need to issue a sticker two years from the month of previous certificate of approval, when to consult the Julian calendar, when to issue from the date of a new registration, etc. It is a useful tool.
Looking back at the scenario above, what should the inspector put into the space when asked to enter today's date?
First, MVC states that you almost never put in the current date into the workstation. The only exception to this rule is when a vehicle more than five years old is inspected on the same day after a new, initial registration. However, this almost never happens since the owner has 14 days to inspect the vehicle post registration.
Second, remember to keep in mind that the approach to find the right solution is fact sensitive. That is, remember to keep in mind if a vehicle is an initial registration, a transfer, or a renewal. Also keep in mind if there is a sticker already on the vehicle, or if none exists at all. These factors help to determine what happens next, and the table on Page 34 can help determine how to proceed.
The other situation we have heard about with regards to finding out if retailers are "following the rules" is with regards to selling Juul products. A member recently informed us of a customer that came in and bought a "bulk" amount of Juul pods. Several weeks later, the member received a letter from Juul reprimanding him for selling a large amount of pods to a customer under the age of 26, and informing him that if he did so again, they would stop selling to him, despite the fact that he doesn't buy directly from Juul, but from a distributor.
This is part of an effort from Juul to crack down on youth use of the product. The letter the member received stated the reason for this regulation was to cut down on the number of people under 26 that purchase in bulk, for fear of re-selling or distributing to underage users. The Juul Youth Prevention page states:
While we work with our retailer partners to implement RACS, we have enhanced our already robust secret shopper program with significant consequences for non-compliant retailers. The new 3-Strikes-And-You're-Out program will revoke retailers' authorization to sell JUUL products for a minimum of one year and require RACS certification if they receive three age-verification or bulk-purchase violations within the same year.
We want to bring this to your attention not to discourage you from carrying these products, but to be sure you are following the both the age verification and quantity limits that are required, and that Juul is following through on their promise that they will be watching to be sure retailers are obeying regulations.
Juul secret shoppers are also on the lookout for counterfeit products. Once again we remind you to make purchases from reputable distributors ONLY. DO NOT buy from "trunk slammers" that are selling products out of the trunks of their cars or a van. NJGCA has two very reputable convenience store suppliers that we encourage you to make your purchases from. HLA and Quick & Fresh are reputable and reliable. Find them listed in the NJGCA MBP Brochure, and be on the lookout for the 2021 brochure coming soon!
Several weeks ago, we had a member reach out to us asking about companies that dispose of tires, as his current company had recently raised their prices. We currently do not have a Member Benefit Partner for this service, so we reached out to a few shop members to get an idea of what others are paying. We found that fees can range anywhere between $1.75 to $2.50 per tire. Overall, everyone we asked seemed interested to find out what others were doing within our community. If you have a company that you can recommend to others, please email michelle@njgca.org and let us know how much you are paying to dispose of your tires and if you are happy with the current company you use.
President Biden has only been in office for two weeks, and already we have seen huge policy commitments with regards to climate change. Last week, we talked about his first two acts as President, canceling the Keystone Pipeline and rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, as well as his intention to replace all government vehicles with electric vehicles.
Shortly after this announcement, General Motors made an announcement themselves; that they would transition much of their fleet to vehicles with zero tailpipe emissions by 2035, and further pledged to be wholly carbon neutral as a company by 2040. The reason why this is such big news is that this is not a government mandate, President Biden has made no immediate order to eliminate internal combustion engine-powered vehicles. However, GM, a major player in the industrial world, has already made a point to take public action. GM is a very large private enterprise making a determination on their own that this is the future and what they are planning to make the change. You can expect the natural laws of competition will mean that it is likely that other industry titans will follow. Is it realistic that by 2035 all the cars you see in GM showrooms will be missing a gasoline powered internal combustion engine? I'm not sure I'm willing to bet on that. However, anyone that sells fuel or services vehicles (i.e. us!) must stay tuned in as to how this progresses.
NJGCA is trying to keep you informed and educated about electric vehicles.  Recently we hosted two webinars with Chargepoint and look forward to another webinar in the near future that will be presented by new NJGCA MBP FreeWire. We are happy to offer our members ways to stay tuned in to these changes; we are taking this seriously and so should you.
Those of you who sell gift cards: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently alerted retailers to be aware of a scam that we need to bring to your attention involving older customers, who may be more susceptible to this scheme. The scheme involves someone contacting victims by phone and claiming to be from the IRS or a tech support company, telling the victim that they owe back taxes or have a computer problem that needs fixing. The call is always urgent, and the caller wants the victim to go to a retail store and purchase a popular gift card, such as iTunes, Google Play or Amazon. Once the card is purchased, the caller then demands the gift card number and PIN on the back of the card, allowing them to immediately obtain the money. The FTC has published a free toolkit that includes literature, posters and items that can be placed around the store, and social media shareables that will help educate customers of the scam. It also has tips for training your employees on how to recognize gift card fraud. Be proactive for your customers, take a few minutes to learn about the scam and how you can help stop it. 

Beginning in February, our MBP Auto Parts International is offering CTI + Worldpac Training Institute will be offering 1-hour technical training classes at lunch time in all 4 Continental US time zones at NO COST, but registration is required
  • 1 technical topic offered per week and classes will run Tuesdays 12-1 PM (Pacific and Central time zones) and Thursdays 12-1 PM (Eastern and Mountain time zones)
  • CLICK THE BELOW FLYER to zoom in for more information (flyer will be added to ProCentral later this week) or click here to view the schedule: Lunchtime Schedule

We want to share information about a special promotion for our members  - EMV4NJ- from our vendor member Sound Payments and its Sound Easy Pump solution. As you may know, the EMV mandate deadline is April 2021, which means if there is a chargeback and the station does not support EMV at the pump, the station owner will take on the liability and be financially responsible. We know how this has been a concern for many due to the high cost to replace your pumps.
The great news is that there are cost-effective options that can easily upgrade your pumps while also providing you with updated features like contactless capabilities. Our vendor partner, Sound Payments is providing a special discount of 10 percent off hardware between now and April 1, 2021. Sound Payments Sound Easy Pump™ is a semi-integrated, retrofit solution that can easily and cost-effectively enable EMV at the pump in a matter of a couple of hours or even less. It supports contactless via card tap or NFC, QR code scanning, PIN-on-glass, MSR, and EMV chip and PIN. Sound Easy Pump™ is easy to install with only one power cord and eliminates the need to purchase new pumps and close stations for installation. The platform is flexible so it can also easily support future innovations.
Reach out to Sound Payments at petrosales@soundpayments.com or call 844-319-5635 and provide them EMV4NJ for the 10 percent discount. You can also learn more about Sound Easy Pump™ at soundpayments.com and join them for a webinar on Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. ET. Register here.
Learn more about Sound Easy Pump and the promo here: https://soundpayments.com/emv-cost-comparison-nj/

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

February 11th & 12th, 2021

If you, a colleague, or an employee technician wishes to become a NJ Emissions Inspector, now is your chance! NJGCA will offer an 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: 
Thursday February 11th, 7:00am to 4:00pm & Friday, February 12th, 12:30

Email Training@njgca.org if you are interested in signing up

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



  News Around The State  

FTC Warns of Gift Card Scams
The Federal Trade Commission has issued warnings about gift-card scams as some retailers report an increase in customers-especially older customers-purchasing large amounts of gift cards in their stores. The agency has created a Stop Gift Card Scams Toolkit to help retailers do their part to prevent this form of fraud.

OSHA Issues New COVID-19 Guidance for Workplaces
Complying with part of one of President Biden's first Executive Orders the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on Friday issued stronger worker safety guidance to help employers and workers implement a COVID-19 protection program and better identify risks which could lead to exposure and contraction, the agency said. The voluntary recommendations are in line with a directive from President Biden for OSHA to release clear guidance for employers to help keep workers safe from COVID-19. The guidance, "Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace," updates recommendations and outlines existing safety and health standards.

PSE&G Gets Green Light To Spend $166M On Charging Infrastructure For Electric Vehicles
Public Service Electric & Gas now has approval to spend up to $166.2 million over the next six years to build the charging infrastructure to support electric vehicles in a program that prominent environmental groups say falls far short of what is needed. The proposal, the first and only utility-driven electric-vehicle charging program approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, is considered by others as an important step taken by the state to begin to electrify the transportation sector, the largest source of global-warming pollution across the nation. But in approving PSE&G's investment, the state board scaled back the original $261 million the utility had originally sought. And the board deferred action on a component that called for electrification of medium- and heavy-duty trucks. It also put off acting on PSE&G's proposal to invest $109 million in developing energy-storage capabilities. Both issues will be subject to future proceedings before the board.

Murphy Defends Vaccination Sign-up System As Public Criticism Climbs
Amid growing public frustration, Gov. Phil Murphy defended the state's patchwork COVID-19 vaccination sign-up system as a process still being refined and reiterated his pleas for patience with New Jersey's coronavirus immunization program. . .State officials are facing a rising tide of public frustration over the vaccine program, which has distributed more than 640,000 doses to residents since its launch in mid-December. The state hopes to immunize at least 4.7 million people, or 70% of those eligible, but the effort so far has  been hampered by lack of vaccines from federal sources and operational challenges here at home.

Some California Towns Order 'Hero Pay' for Grocery Workers
Some California municipalities aren't waiting for a congressional decision on proposed "hero pay" for essential workers. Instead, they're mandating immediate recognition pay for local retail and grocery employees. As NACS Daily reported Tuesday, President Biden wants food retailers to provide employees with back hero pay as part of a proposed $1.9 trillion economic stimulus plan. ​The announcement follows efforts by labor officials to convince retailers to revive the bonus pay programs they introduced for essential workers early in the pandemic. Some California towns already are taking steps to give essential workers more money. According to ABC7.com, the Long Beach city council has unanimously approved a $4 hourly bonus for employees at large grocery stores, although the pay increase will not be official until a final vote on Feb. 2. The wage increase will apply to companies with 300-plus employees nationwide and with more than 15 employees per store in Long Beach. The hero pay mandate will be in place for at least 120 days.

Smoking's Long Decline Is Over
The decades-long decline in U.S. cigarette sales halted last year as people in lockdown lit up more frequently and health concerns around e-cigarettes caused some vapers to switch back to cigarettes. Before the pandemic, U.S. cigarette unit sales had been falling at an accelerating rate, hitting 5.5% in 2019, as smokers quit or switched to alternatives like e-cigarettes. The pandemic put the brakes on that slide. In 2020, the U.S. cigarette industry's unit sales were flat compared to the previous year, according to data released Thursday by Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. People had more opportunities to smoke because they spent more time at home and had more money to spend on cigarettes because they spent less on gas, travel and entertainment, Altria said. They drank more liquor, too, buoying spirits makers.

NACS Asks to Work With Biden on EV Infrastructure Plans
Yesterday, President Biden signed a series of executive orders that aim to "confront the existential threat of climate change," reports the New York Times. The new administration's efforts at lowering carbon dioxide emissions include eliminating fossil fuel subsidies and overhauling tax breaks to oil companies while promoting greater acceptance of electric vehicles and eventually replacing the U.S. government fleet with EVs. In response, NACS and other organizations representing the retail fuel community sent a six-page letter to top government officials offering support and assistance in helping the government achieve those goals.

GM Aims to Eliminate Tail-Pipe Emissions by 2035
General Motors (GM) plans to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035 and become carbon neutral in its global products and operations by 2040, and it has committed to setting science-based targets to achieve carbon neutrality. The company has also signed the Business Ambition Pledge for 1.5 degrees Celsius, a call to action from a global coalition of United Nations agencies, business and industry leaders. . .In addition to GM's carbon goals, the company worked with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to develop a shared vision of an all-electric future and an aspiration to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035. GM's focus will be offering zero-emissions vehicles across a range of price points and working with all stakeholders, including EDF, to build out the necessary charging infrastructure and promote consumer acceptance while maintaining high-quality jobs, which will all be needed to meet these ambitious goals, GM said.



  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