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February 18, 2021
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  

Back in November, the NJEDA established the New Jersey Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program to provide a discount on PPE items from designated vendors who have purchased the PPE in bulk. Phase 2 has been structured to provide $2.5 million of grant funding to cover 65% of eligible small businesses' or nonprofits' PPE purchases through the Designated Vendors PPE Access Program sites. The 65% discount is capped per organization, per round of the Program, at $800 generally, and $1,000 for organizations in opportunity zone eligible census tracts. This subsidized discount is in addition to the minimum 10% discount offered by each of the Designated Vendors under Phase 1 of the Program. Read more about the program and apply here.
An important update from the CDC as more people are getting vaccinated. On February 11, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its COVID-19 quarantine guidelines with the release of revised public health recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals. Previously, people who had been exposed to someone with COVID needed to quarantine for up to a week. According to the CDC as of February 11th, a vaccinated person with exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 is no longer subject to a required quarantine per the CDC if that individual:
  • Is fully vaccinated (i.e., at least 2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or at least 2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine);
  • Is within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series; and
  • Has remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure. 
This new guidance requires all three criteria to be met to avoid quarantine and expressly excludes vaccinated inpatients and residents in healthcare settings. Please keep these new guidelines in mind as your employees become eligible for vaccination. This pandemic is far from over unfortunately, and we still need to do our part to prevent the spread of the virus, especially with new strains on the rise.
The cold weather and winter storms across the country are having immediate and long term effects on gas demand and prices. The long term and short term effects are significant. In the long term - gas went up by 9 cents overnight on Tuesday and the price of crude oil is over $60 a barrel. The price of gasoline has climbed because crude oil is climbing steadily. People are still not driving due to COVID (as well as the storms) and therefore, not needing as many oil changes or tires etc. If demand continues long term staying suppressed, the price of crude oil will not stay, it will come down. The only thing that will make that outcome change is if Russia and OPEC get together and decide to shut production, otherwise the price will collapse.
The short term effect of the storms is that gas went up twelve cents in the last week and may go up more next week. This is a result of the weather being severe enough to shut down the production of crude oil and the production of refined products, combined with a surge in demand for heating oil products which affects diesel fuel. Look for a draw-down on inventories of gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil, and crude oil in the short term as a result of the storm. The good news is once that's behind us, you'll see this most recent price increase drop just as quickly. Keep in mind, these long- and short-term predictions are just that, predictions. Crystal ball reading has not been my forte this year (though imagine if it was with the events of this past year...), but this one I am confident on. I don't see others saying the same thing, but I'm willing to put this out there to you all to see if it holds true.
Last week, we mentioned an uptick in catalytic converter thefts, and unfortunately this week we have more news of crime on the rise. Travelers insurance firm registered a 220% bump in claims for ATM theft damage in 2020 over 2019, and the ATM Industry Association data put the number of ATM thefts up 148% from 2019 to 2020, with the theft of entire ATMs by vehicles rising 53% and the use of explosives to break into the safe jumping 23%. These smashed ATM robberies involve significant property damage, including to the ATM itself, which can cost between $30,000 and $80,000.
While there are no signs that this trend will slow, especially as the pandemic continues, there are steps business owners can take to increase the physical security of ATMs:
  • Properly securing the cabinet from forced entry.
  • Securing the ATM to the floor and walls to prevent the machine from being rocked from its foundation.
  • Being tied into a security system.
  • Installing locator devices. There are a number of technologies available, each with its own set of pros and cons. These include devices that rely on GPS (satellite), GSM (cellular) and RF (radio frequency).
  • The use of dye packets in cash boxes.
Week after week, we continue to bring you news regarding zero emission vehicles which we predict will emerge more and more, especially with the change in administration. The State and Federal government continue to talk about remedies to climate change and make financial commitments to create cleaner industries. In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy announced an investment of more than $100 million in clean, equitable transportation projects that will improve air quality and reduce the effects of climate change while moving New Jersey towards 100% clean energy by 2050. The governor also signed Executive Order No. 221 establishing the Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy, which will focus on addressing climate change, ensuring New Jersey's clean energy future, and transitioning to a green economy while prioritizing equity and environmental justice. This only continues to show how quickly we are moving towards a cleaner industry and that we will need to begin to prepare for the change.
Recently we hosted two webinars with Chargepoint, an installer of fast charging equipment, 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.  We will continue to have programs to keep you informed on this subject. We hope that when the pandemic is over, we can come together for a conference on the subject to learn more. Please let us know if this would be something you would be interested in (once we can all be together in the same room, of course).

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

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



  News Around The State  

Ford to Phase Out Fossil-Fueled Vehicles by 2030
Ford Motor Co. has announced plans to phase out vehicles it sells in Europe that are powered by fossil fuels. By 2026, the company will offer only electric and plug-in hybrid models there, and by 2030 all of Ford's passenger cars will run solely on batteries in Europe, the New York Times reports, and Ford isn't the only automaker switching over. Last week, U.K. automaker Jaguar Land Rover said its Jaguar luxury brand will be all-electric by 2025. The company expects all Jaguars and 60% of Land Rovers sold to be zero-emissions vehicles by 2030, the year the U.K. is slated to ban the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles. Last month, General Motors said it plans to produce electric vehicles exclusively by 2035. Volkswagen says it will manufacture a million EVs in 2023 and 1.5 million in 2025.

Murphy Extends Health Emergency For 12th Time, Carrying NJ Into Full Year Under The Order
Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday extended the state's public health emergency declaration for a 12th time, an action that will carry the state into a full year under the order. The declaration gives the Department of Health expanded powers to respond to the coronavirus and roll out the vaccine, Murphy said. More than 1 million people have gotten the first shot of the two-dose vaccine that was first administered in New Jersey in mid-December.

U.S. Oil Production Slumps by Record 40% as Permian Freezes
Total U.S. oil production has plunged by close to 40% -- the most ever -- as an unprecedented cold blast freezes well operations across the central U.S., according to traders and industry executives with direct knowledge of the operations. Crude output has now fallen by more than 4 million barrels a day nationwide, they said, asking not to be identified because the information isn't public. Before the cold snap, the U.S. was pumping about 11 million barrels a day, according to government data. The estimate of oil production losses has climbed steadily over the last three days as companies and traders assess the situation. Not only do traders and executives now believe losses are larger than previously expected, they also fear they will be longer lasting. The Permian basin -- America's biggest oil field -- is the region worst affected, with output down between 65% and 80% from normal levels, traders and executives said.

Winter Storms Bring Customers to C-Stores
Nearly 170 million people are under winter weather advisories this week as snow storms, icy roads, power outages and low temperatures threatened businesses and residences coast to coast, reports CNN. . .Convenience stores across the nation provided food and supplies to those affected, while grocers like HEB and Kroger stores in Texas have announced shorter hours due to the storms. One Austin-area HEB was reported to be out of milk and butter with ground meats and crackers running low. Below freezing temperatures are forecast to affect more than 245 million people in the lower 48 states this week, with more than 50 million Americans expected to experience temperatures below zero. There is the potential for more than 240 cold temperature records to be broken by Tuesday evening.

Oil Hits Pandemic High As Winter Storm Pushes Demand And Poses Production Risk
Freezing weather in regions across the U.S. sparked another rally in energy prices and put West Texas Intermediate crude on pace to settle above $60 a barrel for the first time since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. WTI crude futures rose 62 cents, or 1%, to $60.09 a barrel Monday. The jump brings WTI crude futures up about 24% so far in 2021. It touched $60.77 a barrel earlier in the session, its highest level since January 2020. Brent crude, the international benchmark, climbed 1.4% to $63.33 after hitting its own 13-month high. The latest pop in the energy market came as cold weather racked portions of the U.S. and fostered demand for power and fuel while simultaneously threatening to hamstring production in Texas. "Winter storm and arctic blast of cold weather that is making its way south to Houston may have some severe impacts on the oil industry," oil analyst Andy Lipow wrote over the weekend.

Why So Many Covid-19 Workers' Comp Claims Are Being Rejected
Determining where a person contracted Covid-19 is proving to be a difficult legal puzzle. In many workers' compensation cases, carriers said individuals were most likely infected in their off hours, while workers' attorneys said their clients' Covid-19 cases were directly linked with unsafe job environments.Insurance carriers and business groups feared at the start of the pandemic that they would be overwhelmed by workers' comp claims related to Covid-19. That concern intensified as more than a dozen states passed laws giving some employees including nurses and firefighters a presumption of eligibility, or access to workers' comp coverage without requiring them to prove infections occurred on the job. Those fears turned out to be unfounded. Workers filed hundreds of thousands of virus-related claims in 2020, but those cases, according to state and industry data, were more than offset by a steep drop in non-Covid-19 claims as layoffs, shutdowns and remote work reduced the number of workplace accidents and injuries.

Pandemic Tax Windfall For NJ: Receipts From House Sales And Liquor Boost State Revenues
The surge in home sales means a boost for New Jersey's bottom line since it generates more revenue from a tax on real-estate transactions. And real estate is not the only industry seeing a rise in sales during the pandemic and with it a corresponding lift in state revenues. Taxes from alcohol sales have been surging in New Jersey during the pandemic, as have state Lottery revenues. State tax data shows that transfer-inheritance tax receipts have also increased significantly amid the health crisis. But there may be more to that than just the grim reflection of the deadly pandemic. Without a doubt, New Jersey's monthly tax collection reports reveal the financial damage  caused by the health crisis, but they also show that, while some tax sources have expectedly lagged last year's pace, others have sprinted ahead.

Smash-and-Grab ATM Thefts on the Rise
More criminals have been smashing and grabbing ATMs from outside of banks and inside convenience stores, Insurance Journal reports. Travelers insurance firm registered a 220% bump in claims for ATM theft damage in 2020 over 2019. COVID-19 closed or restricted bank hours, with the financial firms encouraging customers to use ATMs.



  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  

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