If you cannot see the message, please click here
September 9, 2021
Follow NJGCA:

 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  








Though we have not yet seen any actual effects on the marketplace (so far) following Hurricane Ida last week, in the aftermath of the storm and the incredible amount of damage done due to flooding there have been some responses that we need to notify our membership of:



The AG has sent out an all-encompassing memo, but for those of you who need reminding, amid a State of Emergency being declared, gouging laws automatically go into effect (N.J.S.A. 56:8-109).


Specifically, this law makes it an unlawful practice to sell merchandise at what constitutes an excessive price increase during the State of Emergency or within 30 days of the termination of the State of Emergency. An excessive price increase is defined as:


"Excessive price increase" means a price that is excessive as compared to the price at which the consumer good or service was sold or offered for sale by the seller in the usual course of business immediately prior to the state of emergency. A price shall be deemed excessive if:


(1) The price exceeds by more than 10% the price at which the good or service was sold or offered for sale by the seller in the usual course of business immediately prior to the state of emergency, unless the price charged by the seller is attributable to additional costs imposed by the seller's supplier or other costs of providing the good or service during the state of emergency;


(2) In those situations where the increase in price is attributable to additional costs imposed by the seller's supplier or additional costs of providing the good or service during the state of emergency, the price represents an increase of more than 10% in the amount of markup from cost, compared to the markup customarily applied by the seller in the usual course of business immediately prior to the state of emergency.


A violation of the law is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 for the first offense and $20,000 for the second and subsequent offenses. Each individual sale of merchandise is considered a separate and distinct event.



Following the devastation of last week's storm, the State has created grants of up to $5,000 for small businesses impacted by Ida. The grant money is meant to cover rent and mortgage reimbursement for businesses and nonprofits with less than 50 employees that suffered physical damage due to the storm. With many businesses still suffering from losses due to the pandemic, the damage caused by the storm could put many over the edge. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority will administer the grants and have provided the following eligibility requirements for businesses that were affected by the storm:


· Provide certification of an unmet need due to damage and/or business interruption.

· Provide documentation of physical damage to the applicant's physical commercial location.

· Present a valid Employer Identification Number (EIN).

· Submit recent wage reporting form (WR30), if applicable.

· Be registered to do business in the State of New Jersey.

· Be in good standing with the Department of Taxation.

· Comply with any additional requirements that are announced when the program is finalized.


More information will be provided on where to apply for the state EDA loans as it is announced, which is expected to be some time next week, though you can visit the website HERE on the grants. 


In addition to the state EDA grants, the U.S. Small Business Administration will also roll out federal relief for businesses hammered by Hurricane Ida. Businesses in any of the counties declared as federal disaster areas (Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic, and Somerset) can borrow up to $2 million in low-interest loans through the SBA, which owners can use to pay for storm-damaged property and machinery, equipment, inventory, and any other physical damage suffered from the storm. So far the loans are only available to the six counties mentioned above, but more counties may be added soon. If your business has suffered damage and it is located in one of the six counties mentioned above, you can get started applying for relief HERE


If any of your customers' vehicles were damaged by the storm and are not operable, they may be interested in a program just announced by the Governor with Uber and Lyft to provide free or discounted rides to those who lost a personal vehicle. More information on this program can be found HERE. The State has also set up a central website with information about recovery from Tropical Storm Ida: https://nj.gov/ida/



Also following the storm, DEP reached out to NJGCA directly with this new resource to help anyone with USTs that may have experienced flooding. They want to make sure none of our members get into trouble. If flood water, loss of power and storm damage compromised your facilities' ability to store and dispense fuel, then please check out the latest compliance advisory from DEP on how to safely restart fuel tank operations. Though this was created after Hurricane Ida's devastation, the information provided in this advisory covers any flooding that owners of USTs may experience in the future as well. This compliance advisory is hosted on NJGCA's website and we will be sure to update the document (and notify you of these updates) should any further guidance be released.



We are hoping to gather NJGCA shop owners by inviting our auto repair members to SEMA/APPEX in November. This conference is vital in order to build on the professionalism that is required to run a shop today. It is beneficial for colleagues to be together, learn together, and have fun together. We are building all of those things into what is known as industry week in Las Vegas or the SEMA/APPEX shows. I'm sure many of you not only have heard of these two shows but may have already attended in previous years. We want NJGCA members to attend together and even bring your spouse! We recently included details for a group trip we are organizing to Red Rock Canyon, 7 Magic Mountains, Boulder City & Hoover Dam a day before the conference officially kicks off in order to build collegiality amongst our members. If you are interested in more information on the conference and any other events we are organizing that week, please contact Joe Ocello at joe@njgca.org. See the announcement we emailed to members yesterday and register HERE.


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  



Disaster Declaration Being Considered For 8 More N.J. Counties, Officials Say

New Jersey and federal officials are assessing the severity of damage from Tropical Storm Ida in eight more counties as the state seeks additional federal help for residents impacted by the storm.The Office of Emergency Management and FEMA toured Hudson, Essex, Mercer and Union counties Tuesday, and continued on to Burlington, Monmouth and Morris counties Wednesday, said Pat Callahan, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. They were expected to assess Warren County later today, he said.


Growing Chorus Of Critics Want To Hit The Brakes On N.J. Electric Heating Mandate

A provision in the state's energy master plan has critics clamoring for change. The Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey has launched a campaign seeking to head off portions of the state's energy master plan that would require ubiquitous use of electric heating systems, charging they will cost households several times more than predicted while still proving unreliable in cold weather. The master plan estimates the costs of installing an electric heating system as falling between $4,000 and $7,000, but a study conducted by the Massachusetts-based biofuels firm Diversified Energy Specialists commissioned by the Fuel Merchants Association that examined installation costs found the average electrification cost ranges from $12,000 and $22,000, with costs for new homes and gutted buildings falling on the low end.



Biden Tours Flood-Ravaged N.J., NYC, Says Infrastructure Plan Needed To Deal With Climate Change

President Joe Biden on Tuesday surveyed the damage caused by last week's deadly storms in New York and New Jersey, promising to help flood-ravaged communities he said are likely to get hit again and again by a changing and violent climate. Democrats, including Biden, argued the storms spawned by the remnants of Hurricane Ida were uniquely destructive and should make climate change a meat-and-potatoes issue before similar storms strike again. While hurricanes have struck the Northeast before, officials were stunned by the record rains that quickly fell, overwhelming predictions, expectations and the ability to act. . .Biden argued that now is the time to take prompt action, including on his infrastructure plans.



Cooking With Gas? Not If Governor Murphy's Plan Goes Through | Mulshine

Tony Bucco is a Republican state senator from Morris County. He recently sent out a release critical of the state's Energy Master Plan, which calls for an almost-total phaseout of natural gas by 2050. . . That master plan calls for a "transition to 100 percent clean energy by 2050" and natural gas doesn't meet the state's definition of "clean energy." . . .The plan doesn't state how that would be accomplished, but in other states the government is calling for homeowners to switch from gas heating and appliances to electric. The administration has not yet released a timetable for meeting that goal. But when he unveiled the plan last year, Gov. Phil Murphy said New Jersey plans to lead the nation in "weaning the state off its century-old addiction to fossil fuels."



N.J. Among Nation's Worst In Restoring Jobs Since Covid Recession, Report Shows

The coronavirus-induced recession hit New Jersey harder than most other states as significantly fewer Garden State residents of prime working age had jobs in 2020 compared with the previous year, according to a new report by Pew Charitable Trusts. Months later, many of those jobs have yet to come back. New Jersey had almost 276,000 fewer jobs than before the pandemic began, a separate report from New Jersey Policy Perspective found.



Companies Consider Financial Penalties for Unvaccinated Staff

Many see the surcharge as a way to increase vaccinations without laying off or taking other disciplinary action against workers who refuse to get the shot. Some employers worry that boosting health-care premiums or imposing other financial penalties could generate administrative and regulatory burdens, and even prompt anti-vaccine employees to seek work elsewhere amid record job openings. . .A national survey of nearly 1,000 employers indicates that 52% say they will have policies in place by the fourth quarter of this year mandating that their employees be vaccinated against COVID-19, Reuters reports. The policies could include vaccination to enter common areas to requiring all employees to be inoculated, according to the Willis Towers Watson survey conducted between Aug. 18 and 25.



Louisiana Battles Gas Shortages, Loss of Power

In the wake of Hurricane Ida, more than half the gas station in Baton Rouge and New Orleans are reportedly without fuel, while hundreds of thousands of Louisiana residents try to cope without electricity, the Washington Post reports. Some stations ran out of fuel, while others couldn't dispense fuel due to a lack of power. The Category 4 hurricane hit the area Sunday. Utilities said residents and businesses could be without power for as long as three weeks. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Ida took out 94% of the offshore oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico and shut down seven Louisiana oil refineries, which might take weeks to restart. The Colonial Pipeline, which took part of its pipelines offline during the storm, is back to full operations.



Supplemental UI Benefits Expire Sept. 4: What That Means If You're Out Of Work

The three supplemental unemployment insurance benefit programs established under the federal CARES Act in March 2020, renewed by the Continued Assistance Act in December 2020 and again by the American Rescue Plan in March, finally are expiring - on Saturday, Sept. 4. Here's a look at what that means.



Walmart Boosting Store Workers' Pay By At Least $1

Walmart store workers are getting at least $1 more an hour as the retail giant responds to one of the tightest labor markets in history. With the peak holiday season approaching when retailers typically hire thousands of seasonal workers, Walmart is raising the hourly wage for 565,000 store associates.



Refineries Face Possible Outages Following Hurricane Ida

It may take some Louisiana refineries several weeks to resume operations following heavy rains and 130 mph winds that accompanied Hurricane Ida, the Wall Street Journal reports. Valero Energy, Marathon Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell and other oil refiners are still assessing damages across 2,000 miles of electric-transmission lines. In total, nine Louisiana refineries with about 2.3 million barrels a day of refining capacity-13% of the U.S. total-were offline Tuesday, the Energy Department said. Those facilities account for almost a quarter of the Gulf Coast's oil refining capacity.



  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