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September 16, 2021
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  Executive Directors Message  









Last week, we mentioned that the State has created a grant of up to $5,000 for small businesses impacted by Ida. The grant money is meant to cover August rent/mortgage reimbursement for businesses and nonprofits with less than 50 employees that suffered physical damage due to the storm. Applicants may receive anywhere from $1,000 - $5,000 depending on how much you pay monthly for rent/mortgage. For more eligibility requirements, visit the EDA website for Henri/Ida Assistance Grant Program HERE. It has come to our attention that the grants will be available on a first come first serve basis beginning at 9 AM THIS FRIDAY. The website to apply for the grant can be found HERE. If you plan on applying, there are several requirements and tips you should be aware of beforehand:


  1. Have you applied for a grant through NJEDA before? Think back to COVID grants as well. If the answer is YES, then stop what you are doing right now and visit the grant application website and SIGN IN. Applicants who have previously applied for NJEDA COVID-19 relief programs can use their existing username and password. If you forgot your username/password, take care of that right away. You will need to sign in again on Friday before you apply for the grant. Applicants who have not applied for NJEDA assistance in the past will need to create a new username and password. Write down your username/password and keep it by your computer for Friday at 9 AM. Because this grant is on a first come first serve basis, if you run into any complications on the day the grant opens it could prohibit you from receiving your grant. Take a minute to take care of this sign in process to make sure it's seamless for Friday at 9 AM.
  2. Though the grants are to cover August rent/mortgage only, an applicant's unmet need will also be determined based on estimated damages. Revenue loss will also be considered based on shuttered business operations, to be certified by the applicant. If you have pictures of the damage done to your business, include them with your application. Pictures and proof of revenue loss can be used to show grant need and should be attached with your application. Capital expenses, such as remediation or construction, ARE NOT eligible uses of funding.
  3. If you need assistance, the NJEDA hotline is 844-965-1125


Again, the website that hosts the grant application can be found HERE, and the grant opens at 9 AM on Friday, September 17th. Please make sure you test signing in and have all your sign-in information ready to go BEFORE the grant opens.



Many of our members belong to township Facebook pages and other groups that notify them of what's going on in their community. We recently became aware of a posting on one of these groups that highlights an issue in our industry that I want to bring to your attention. A screenshot (with identifying information removed) can be found below:

Clearly, the customer was within their rights to question this. The point I want to make is that you are in business to serve the customer. One bad experience can be a bad reflection on all of your colleagues in the industry. People already have a poor image of gas stations and auto repair industries, and situations such as these don't help. This was poorly handled and a simple explanation would have done the trick. It reminds me of another situation where one of our hot-headed members responded to a similar inquiry from his customer poorly (using very colorful language to tell his customer to shove it). Well, it turns out that customer was a member of the New Jersey Assembly, and it resulted in the Assemblyman introducing harmful legislation against cash/credit pricing that we had to fight for four years afterwards. It also prompted other members of the Assembly to introduce their own versions of the legislation making our job much harder to kill it.  The point is, we are in a customer service industry, our job is to create repeat customers that trust us and continue to patronize our businesses. Please be mindful of this, and remember your Association is here to help with advice should you run into any situations where you question what your next steps may be. 



House Democrats' newly released $3.5 trillion tax legislation includes a tax increase on tobacco, nicotine, and vapor products levied on tobacco manufacturers. Democrats hope the tax will raise $100 billion by doubling rates on cigarettes and increasing rates on all other tobacco and nicotine products to achieve parity with the new rate on cigarettes. Democrats included this with the hopes that it will be a big revenue generator for its budget. While the news of a possible tax increase is not the best news, our main concern is a possibility this could encourage the black market and "trunk slammers" to offer more competitive pricing to entice business owners into selling illicit products. We will continue to monitor this news and bring you any updates.



This past summer, our training program was put on hold due to an internal-MVC staffing obstacle. In short, the MVC staffers we work with to coordinate sessions were unavailable to participate in new training classes. 


That last part is particularly important. Unlike other training providers, NJGCA always organizes our INL NJ Emission Inspector class with MVC's full cooperation. This means each student gets their in-class exam immediately after they receive instruction. Not only does it aid students to pass the exam, but gives them greater confidence in recalling important material and testing tips. 


With this in mind, Monday we learned that the State has approved a class for September 22nd and 23rd.


Though we typically give prospective students a month-plus of advanced warning when scheduling a session, the enormous backlog of students seeking to take the course necessitates a break from our normal procedure. While we'd love to give everyone additional time to sign up, our training calendar is dictated by MVC's own scheduling constraints. 


The class details are in the Training Class Schedule section, below. 


We would love to accommodate every student, but that isn't logistically possible. Knowing this, I'd be remiss if I failed to point out that our classes are on a first-come/first-serve basis. Due to MVC hardware limitations, we are capped at 10 students per training session. 


If you are interested in taking an INL NJ Emission Inspector Training class with us next Wednesday and Thursday, please contact Nick at training@njgca.org with your interest. Nick will send you additional details and a link to sign up for the course.  



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


Two-Day Emissions Inspector Training Class

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Thursday, September 23, 2021


If you, a colleague, or an employee technician wishes to become a NJ Emissions Inspector, now is your chance! 


To be licensed as a Motor Vehicle Emission Inspector, an applicant must complete an approved training program that provides a detailed understanding of inspection related issues. NJGCA is proud to offer a course that is comprehensive and fulfills all state requirements. Our course curriculum includes an overview of state rules and regulations as they pertain to inspection and various emission repair issues. Technicians will be required to pass both a Written and Hands-On exam. Technicians passing these exams will be certified and licensed as Motor Vehicle Emission Inspectors (INL license holder). 


Day One consists of in-class instruction from NJGCA's instructor. We will break for lunch (provided), and the State will administer the written test in the afternoon.


Day Two our instructor will go over the hands-on test at an emission inspection location to fully prepare you for the hands-on test.



NJGCA Members: $489.00

Non-Members: $539.00


DAY 1: Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Classroom Training and Written Exam


Training Location:

NJGCA Headquarters, 2nd Floor Training Room

4900 Route 33 West

Wall Township, NJ 07753


Arrival: 7:00am

Lunch: 12:00pm (Pizza and soda provided)

NJMVC Test: 1:30pm

Hands on Training PowerPoint: 3:00pm


DAY 2:  Thursday, September 23, 2021

Gasoline Hands-On Training (for Gasoline Inspection Equipment Only)


Training Location:

B&F Auto South

2276 Hwy 34 North

Allenwood, NJ 08720


Arrival: 12:30pm


Diesel Hands-On Training 

Please see the instructor. Time and date to be determined between student and instructor.

Please note that our classes are on a first-come/first-serve basis.  

We are capped at 10 students per training session.  This constraint is artificially imposed by MVC due to a technological hardware limitation, but also to adhere to proper COVID social distancing guidelines.


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



  News Around The State  



Michelin's New Airless Tires Just Hit Public Streets For the First Time

Puncture-proof tires have been an intriguing concept for many years. Tire maker, Michelin, has been working on it since 2005 and after more than a decade of work, it is now closer to reality. The company took its puncture-proof tires for a spin for the first time, on an electric vehicle, in line with the company's goals of being more sustainable in the future. 



Murphy Sidesteps Questions On Payroll Tax Hike, Unemployment Benefits For The Unvaccinated

At Gov. Phil Murphy's now twice-a-week Covid press briefing today, the governor was asked about the possibility of using federal aid money to prevent a payroll tax hike and whether those fired for being unvaccinated would be eligible for unemployment benefits - but avoided directly answering either question. On the subject of mitigating payroll taxes, Murphy said that "nothing's off the table" while declining to make any affirmative commitment to use money obtained from the American Rescue Plan (ARP).


5 Ways You Can Prepare for the Workplace Vaccine Mandate

Last Thursday, the Biden Administration announced that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will soon issue a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to either ensure their workers are vaccinated or require unvaccinated employees to produce a weekly negative test result before coming to work. It's estimated that 80 million workers, or two-thirds of the country's workforce, will be impacted by the rule, according to law firm Fisher-Phillips. In light of the announcement, many employers are left unsure how to navigate these unchartered waters. Fisher-Phillips lays out a five-step action plan for employers to implement immediately.


Here Comes The Rain Tax, Again? 2nd Look For NJ Stormwater Utilities

The floods brought by Henri and Ida and an infrastructure plan in Congress have reinvigorated talks about climate resilience projects, including a concept that has stalled since it was approved in 2019 - municipal or county stormwater utilities. Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn LaTourette said the state needs a network of solutions, including hard infrastructure and engineered greenspace, to prep for an expected 7% to 11% rise in precipitation in New Jersey by 2050.



Why Most Gas Stations Don't Make Money From Selling Gas

In a rough and tumble 2020, gas stations in the US still managed to sell 123B gallons of fuel - enough to fill 187k Olympic-size swimming pools. With average gas prices at a 6-year high, you might think station owners are rolling in the dough. But the business model of gas stations is a bit counterintuitive. Most gas stations barely turn a profit on their core product, and when the price of oil goes up they may even take a loss on it. Battling small margins, cutthroat competition, and the looming threat of electric vehicles, many gas stations are more reliant than ever on secondary revenue streams.


These Cherry Hill Neighborhoods Don't Want Another Wawa

But in a region that really does love Wawa, Barclay Farm and nearby Kingston Estates are among the latest communities saying no to one of the chain's proposed outlets. A similar fight is underway in the Holland section of Northampton Township, Bucks County, and in 2020, the Philadelphia zoning board rejected a Wawa-with-gas proposed near the Delaware River Waterfront in South Philly. "We don't need another Wawa in Cherry Hill. We want to maintain the community we have here, and a Wawa would create a whole different atmosphere," said Carol Saldutti, a certified public accountant who has lived in Barclay since 1992. There are six Wawas in the township, and many more near its borders.



Residents Of 4 More N.J. Counties Now Eligible For Federal Disaster Relief Due To Ida Storm Damage

Residents and businesses in another four New Jersey counties ravaged by the remnants of Hurricane Ida now will be eligible for federal disaster relief, the White House announced Friday. The counties are Essex, Hudson, Mercer and Union. President Joe Biden initially issued a disaster declaration for Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic and Somerset counties.




  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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