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March 11, 2021
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  







I asked Sal if I could interrupt your regularly scheduled Road Warrior programming to bring you a special message from the desk of the Research/Communications Director:

About a year ago, Sal, Eric and myself traveled down to Washington D.C. to participate in the NACS Day on the Hill, an opportunity to meet with legislators and discuss policy issues that affect our industries. As the two-day program began, "Coronavirus" was under the breath of many throughout the program, and we all had our laughs at the free traveling reusable hand sanitizers that were distributed to participants (that still hangs on my bag a year later, thanks NACS!). It was not until we entered the Capitol building on the second day that the mood shifted from anticipatory excitement and nervousness from the news to a bit of fear, as we were not allowed to shake anyone's hands, something Sal had mentioned was unheard of throughout his career. As we drove home, we listened to the radio report of climbing infection numbers and uncertainty as to how New Jersey (one of the first COVID hotspots), let alone the country would respond. 

Looking back a year later, to think, if only we knew then what we know now. But then again, how could anyone have predicted that a global event, the likes of which we haven't seen for over a hundred years, would have such an effect not only on our industries but on our entire lives? We stopped driving, having an immediate effect on the gas, auto repair and convenience industries. Customers cleaned our c-store supplies of hand sanitizer, toilet paper, paper towels and other essentials leaving us to wonder when we would see these products back on our shelves again. Many of us wondered if our businesses would survive in the short-term to see any recovery in the long-term. 

Throughout the past year, NJGCA has provided you with webinars, guidance documents, and new resource pages to try to help you not only navigate through this new reality, but try to thrive. We walked our members through the federal and state loan and grant applications and learned as much as we could to help our members receive aid. We leaned on our MBPs to share their knowledge and skill sets with you in On the Road articles and webinars. We have fought for our members to be considered 'essential' in Trenton and continue this fight as vaccine eligibility expands to a shaky rollout. We even called on our association members to help their communities fight hunger and collected PPE.

Though we may not be physically together as a team at the moment, NJGCA continues to be here to help. As vaccinations continue to roll out, we are excited about the possibility of being able to gather with our membership face-to-face again, whether it be through our diner tours, conventions, or other educational events. Feel free to reach out to me or anyone else on the staff if we can assist you with any issues you may be facing and continue to spread the word about the value of belonging to a small business association.

Feel free to contact me anytime if there is anything I can help you with.

~Michelle Horowitz Jackson


Eric and I outside the Capitol building



Before masks became best practice by the CDC, these signs were outside every office door

Exactly one year ago, March 2020



We continue to bring you news pertaining to the shift in demand for electric vehicles. My personal belief is that once the public learns more about hydrogen, they will choose hydrogen over battery electric vehicles. This is because the fueling process will be identical to fueling up with gasoline. There will be hydrogen pumps and cars will pull in and out of stations and fill their tanks with hydrogen similar to the fueling experience with gasoline today. Vehicles will be producing their own electricity from the hydrogen fuel cells. A tank of hydrogen will get someone 300-400 miles, so there will be much more confidence in this alternative fuel on the road as well. I'm hoping we will be able to put together all kinds of incentives for those of you currently in the gasoline business to be able to afford installation of both electric charging stations and hydrogen fueling. The legislation I testified on this week should be helpful for those of you in the gasoline business and auto repair as well. Sooner or later, you will be doing expensive repairs on hydrogen equipment and this legislation will eliminate sales tax on any of that. I know this is all in the future, but we've been watching all this for the past decade and we must watch it even closer now as it is becoming clear we are moving towards a future in which these vehicles will be on the roads sooner rather than later. If you would like to listen to the testimony, you can click HERE, and skip to 26:51.



For the past two weeks, I mentioned our effort with Fuel Your Way NJ (FYWNJ). I want to remind any of you that are interested in being involved to pass legislation that will permit motorists to pump their own gas to sign up to join the effort HERE. Yesterday we held a successful webinar to a large crowd of other gasoline retailers in the state that are interested in seeing this legislation move forward. Thank you for those that attended. We will keep you posted with further developments and other opportunities to get involved. 



Demand for EV charging continues to increase, especially with the change of administration and President Biden's aggressive efforts to address climate change. We are looking forward to our webinar hosted by FreeWire scheduled for March 24th. 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). 

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  


House Passes $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Bill

Yesterday, the House passed the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief packages, and it now goes to President Biden for his signature, reports CNN. Approved by the Senate over the weekend, the relief bill features new funds for public-health measures and another dose of economic aid, including a $1,400 stimulus check for many Americans, plus a $300 weekly supplement for unemployed workers. The plan also includes a one-year expansion of the child tax credit that Democrats want to make permanent; provides funds for schools, vaccine distribution efforts and state and local governments, while also supporting struggling multi-employer pensions, among other measures.


$100M Could Be On The Way For N.J. Small Businesses, Restaurants, Bars, Daycare Centers

New Jersey's smallest businesses, child care centers, bars, restaurants and nonprofits suffering from a year of business disruptions and restrictions could receive $100 million in aid, under a bill package that cleared a state Assembly committee Monday. The slate of five bills would set aside federal funds for employers in these sectors, including $25 million for microbusinesses, $35 million for bars and restaurants, $10 million for daycares, $15 million for arts and culture organizations and $15 million to other businesses and nonprofits.


Now That Marijuana Is Legal In NJ, Can You Get Fired For Smoking Weed? It's Complicated

Under the New Jersey marijuana legalization laws enacted last month, employers can no longer fire employees simply because they use marijuana. With few exceptions, this protection generally applies so long as the employee is on their own time, according to the law. Not so clear is when these provisions actually take effect, and how they apply to workers bound by other laws, contracts and agreements.


A Precious Metal That Costs 15 Times The Price Of Gold Is Driving A Surge In Thefts Of Catalytic Converters

The metallic element is housed in a vehicle's catalytic converter, a bulbous piece of aluminum containing a honeycomb structure that filters fumes. National data is scarce, but news reports point to thousands of catalytic converter thefts over the past year, a crime wave that has risen with the price of rhodium, a silvery-white chemical element that is a byproduct of the production of platinum and palladium, and is unparalleled in its ability to remove the most toxic pollutants from vehicle exhaust. A single troy ounce, which is slightly heavier than a regular ounce, of rhodium cost around $27,000 last week - more than a brand-new Toyota Prius. That's up from $1,700 three years ago.




  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  



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