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June 24, 2021
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  Executive Directors Message  











We at NJGCA have formed the Fuel Your Way NJ (FYWNJ) coalition to bring an option fueling model to New Jersey - the last state in the country that still has full-service only. This is a fight we can win, but we need your help. That's why we're calling a joint in-person meeting of NJGCA and FYWNJ to discuss how to change New Jersey law to allow for a choice at the gas pump.

When: Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at 1:00pm ET

Where: Hampton Inn - Woodbridge, 370 U.S. 9 North, Woodbridge Township, NJ 07095

Why: So you can hear the strategy on how to bring self-self to NJ, the role YOU can play, and learn about the progress that has been made so far.

We want you to learn more about what potential legislation will look like, how fueling choice will work, and strategy for changing public opinion and law in the state. To RSVP and tell us you're coming on June 29th, please email Michelle Horowitz Jackson at michelle@njgca.org. Together, we can help change the culture and law in New Jersey, but we need your help and your voice. We hope to see you there!



For our members with college-aged children or employees, take advantage of scholarship money available! We are able to bring the scholarship to your attention thanks to the generosity of the Utica Insurance Company that insures many of our members through the Amato Agency for business liability, as well as the NJGCA Board of Directors that approved a matching amount. Applicants can be a child of a member, an employee of a member, or a child of an employee of the member, and each member may submit one application per membership. You as the business owner and member get to choose the applicant to be submitted. However, to be clear, each membership is only permitted to submit ONE application. There is a total of $10,000 in scholarship money to be distributed. The $5,000 contribution from Utica Insurance must be used for a student who is attending an automotive technical trade school. The NJGCA contribution of $5,000 can be used for a student attending any college, university, or trade school. If you have questions, email michelle@njgca.org.

Our online application is now live! Just click HERE to complete the form. Applications must include the requested transcripts. If you are submitting an online application, please be sure to also submit transcripts before the deadline. Applications must be postmarked or submitted before the application deadline of July 13, 2021, and must be received at NJGCA Headquarters by July 19th, 2021 if sent via mail. Click HERE to view the PRINT application or click HERE to complete the online application. 



The NJEDA Phase 4 pre-registration application is officially open. If you have not yet preregistered, be sure to do so before the June 30th deadline. If you do not preregister you will not be able to apply for the grant. Depending on your business, applications are due either July 7th or 8th. Small businesses with 6 to 50 full-time equivalent employees may apply starting 9 AM July 7th, while micro businesses with 0 to 5 full-time-equivalent employees that are not restaurants or child care providers will apply starting July 8th 9AM. Read more about the grant and requirements HERE

On Tuesday Governor Murphy signed legislation appropriating more money to these programs, including $120 million for businesses with 5 or fewer full-time equivalent employees and $50 million for businesses with more than 5 but under 50 employees. This may lead to a potential Phase 5 for businesses to apply for additional grants, and the Legislature is about to appropriate an additional $100 million. 



For those of you in our Association Master Trust (AMT) health plan, we paid a dividend from the 2019 premiums that you paid, and that dividend was given to you as a credit on your June health coverage premium billing statement. Members have received dividends from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. Of course, this only applies if you had AMT health coverage in 2019. If you had health coverage in 2019 and did not receive your dividend, please contact me immediately at sal@njgca.org.


In Trenton this week, the Legislature is racing to complete the annual budget process before breaking for the summer. I do mean racing -- on Tuesday the Senate and Assembly budget committees both passed the Fiscal Year 2022 budget bill just minutes after the language was released to the public, and they plan to pass it in both houses and send it to the governor today (Thursday). The budget is by far the largest ever, spending $46.4 billion in the year starting on July 1st. After the initial shock of the COVID-19 shutdown last year, state revenues recovered and for once the State has plenty of money to spend without the need for any for new tax increases. The budget sets aside $3.7 billion to pay down some of the State's existing debt. Unfortunately, the Legislature has not dedicated any of the upwards of $6 billion in federal money to the Unemployment Insurance Fund, a move which would have prevented the upcoming increase in employer payroll taxes starting on July 1st. While there are no tax increases as a part of this year's budget, there are also no cuts to the state's high tax rates, although households of under $150,000 income with at least one dependent child will be given up to $500 later this summer.

Also moving quickly this week is a bill, A-5898, which would allow a person between the ages of 16 and 18 to work up to 50 hours a week from the end of school until Labor Day, as long as they have a parent's permission. It has already passed the Assembly 69-3 but still needs to be scheduled for a Senate vote. The Senate Commerce Committee passed a bill, S-3608 from Sen. Cunningham (D-Hudson), to try and crack down on the recent surge in thefts of catalytic converters. It would require scrap recyclers to check to make sure the person they are buying from is either a valid auto repair business or else can prove that they acquired the converter legally. You can read the testimony NJGCA submitted in support of the bill HERE.


We continue to read about ransomware threats that target crucial industries to our daily lives: hospitals, water, food, transport, and even gas, as we saw recently with the Colonial Pipeline hacking. The hackers are able to target vulnerable infrastructure and gaps in security systems and are able to shut down industries in order to get the payout they are looking for. 

If you do not currently have protective measures in place, you need to be looking into this immediately to protect yourself and your customers. Because of the increase in attacks on small businesses, NJGCA reached out to the New Jersey CyberSecurity & Communications Integration Cell, a branch of the NJ Department of Homeland Security to host a webinar with us on July 14th at 1 PM. We will be discussing some of the larger industry threats as well as the threats our businesses need to keep an eye out for, and solutions for avoiding being hacked. Register HERE to join the webinar. 


Our census project continues and if you have not received a call yet, expect a call from someone on the NJGCA staff to update our data. We want to be especially sure we are capturing geographical information in order to contact every legislator that may represent you at both home and business. We also need to be sure we have correct email addresses in order to send you fast and timely information to keep you updated. We want to have every available means to contact members in the event of another emergency such as Superstorm Sandy. We have not updated this information in many years, and having this accurate info will be helpful to us when we communicate with you and legislators. Please be cooperative when you are called. 

In order to make this process as seamless as possible for you, we have also created an online version to complete this information yourself. You are permitted to fill out the information online or wait to be called by staff. Please be sure you are completing the entire survey, as each question contains data that could be used to help persuade legislators.


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 potential trainings and class dates



  News Around The State  


The Gas Tax is Obsolete. Here's a Better Idea

Although Democrats and Republicans are still debating the size and scope of an infrastructure package that would address long-delayed repairs and maintenance of the nation's streets and highways, there's general agreement that it needs to happen and soon. The real problem is one that has festered for decades: how to pay for it when raising taxes is politically toxic. . .The first step is to get rid of the existing federal gas tax entirely, which is obsolete in an era when more and more of the cars and trucks on the roads are hybrid, electric or powered with alternative fuels. The second step is to return to the original principle behind the gas tax, which is that it should be sufficient to support our highway system and be efficient to collect.


Biz Orgs: New Budget Could, But Does Nothing To, Stave Off July 1 Tax Hikes

Business owners can expect their taxes to increase beginning July 1, the day a record-high $46.4 billion spending bill would go into effect, in order to replenish the state's overly-strained unemployment trust fund. Strictly speaking, the two are not related. But business groups contend that the state can act now, but it is opting not to, to prevent the increases, given the $6.5 billion federal relief package under the American Rescue Plan and $10 billion of surplus money.


Retailers Struggle to Keep Workers

In April, 649,000 workers quit their retail jobs, the sector's biggest one-month decline in more than two decades, the Washington Post reports. Retail workers, buoyed by a strongly recovering job market and tired from pandemic-related stresses, are saying goodbye to their jobs by the millions, with retail jobs at the top of the list of businesses hardest hit. Some are migrating to positions at banks, local governments, insurance agencies and marijuana dispensaries where their customer service skills are highly sought after. Others are returning to school for a career change or waiting for better childcare options. Retail workers who recently quit pointed to the pandemic's new challenges as reasons for leaving: longer hours, understaffed shops, difficult customers and lower pay. Experts say the pandemic has made it even more challenging for the 15 million U.S. retail workers to secure public transportation and reliable childcare. However, now that life is normalizing more, workers realize there are more options for work than their current retail position.


Budget Committees Advance $46.4B Spending Bill Minutes After Making It Public

The Senate and Assembly budget committees voted Tuesday to advance a $46.4 billion budget bill for the fiscal year that begins July 1 - just minutes after the final documents were made available to the public. The straight party-line votes send the measure to the floors of both chambers, where it is scheduled to be voted on Thursday before being sent to Gov. Phil Murphy. The budget bill includes a massive $6.9 billion payment into New Jersey's notoriously-underfunded pension system - $505 million more than what Murphy originally proposed - and sets aside $3.7 billion to tackle the state's debtload.


Chemical Recycling Bill Sets Stage For Industry's Battle With Environmentalists

New Jersey lawmakers are keying in on the future of plastic manufacturing and waste management. On Monday, a contentious bill that would ban polystyrene packaging and require plastic, glass and paper containers and carryout bags to be made with a percentage of recycled material, passed the Senate. The bill (S-2515) would be among the most progressive recycled content rules in the country, and would complement the single-use plastic and paper bag ban that Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law last year.


$46.5 Billion Budget To Feature Multi-year $3.7 Billion Debt Defeasance Fund

Lawmakers will introduce a $46.5 billion budget deal Monday, with the intent of hearing it in Assembly and Senate Committees on Tuesday. That sets the bill up for full votes in both chambers on Thursday, a little less than a week before the June 30 deadline. The budget deal reached by top Democrats in Trenton will include a multi-year $3.7 billion lockbox fund to pay down existing debt and forgo future borrowing, according to senior legislative sources. The fund is split into two parts, with the lion's share, about $2.5 billion, meant to pay down existing obligations. Officials have identified roughly $3.2 billion in debt that could be paid down early. Doing so could save the state hundreds of millions of dollars over proceeding years. The remaining funds will be used to allow lawmakers to avoid future borrowing. For example, instead of borrowing $1.2 billion for a new program, they could instead pull money out of the lockbox fund.


To Help Summer Economy, NJ May Let Teens Work 50 Hours A Week

State lawmakers have an idea for easing the labor crunch: Let kids work overtime this summer. Not all kids, just 16- and 17-year-olds. And they'd need written permission from a parent or legal guardian. Those teenagers are now limited to 40 hours of work a week, but legislation advancing at the Statehouse would raise that limit to 50 hours a week through Labor Day. . . The bill would apply beginning on the last day of a minor's school year and end on Labor Day. Some schools begin before Labor Day, so there could be overlap at the end of the summer. Under current state law, 16- and 17-year-olds can't work beyond 11 p.m. when school is in session. There are exceptions during vacation season and on weekends and for restaurants and seasonal businesses.



  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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