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January 6, 2022
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  










On Sunday night, Governor Murphy issued a State of Emergency ahead of a winter storm for Ocean, Burlington, Atlantic, Cumberland and Cape May counties. For our members in these counties: gouging laws are now in effect. The gouging laws make it an unlawful practice to sell merchandise at what constitutes an excessive price increase when State of Emergencies are declared or within 30 days of the termination of 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.


Years ago, the DEP used to drop off the gas station compliance calendar and we would distribute to our membership. As a cost-saving measure, they don't do this anymore and for the last five years they have made it so that you can and must print it yourself. This will be up on our website and you can access the link HERE. You should visit this link from our newsletter and print immediately if you can. As a warning, if DEP comes to your station and they discover you are not recording information you will encounter some severe penalties. If you find this too cumbersome, some of the items that need to be recorded you can have done by one of our MBPs for a monthly fee, though others that require daily checks you will still be on the hook for.  Check the MBP brochure and give one of them a call.


I want to encourage our members to register and participate in a free webinar hosted by the U.S. Department of Labor about the Fair Labor Standards Act's essential protections for workers on Thursday, January 13th from 1 - 2:30pm. This webinar will be specific to auto repair shops, car washes, tire stores, gas stations, and related establishments. We have done plenty over the years with regard to the Fair Labor Standards Act and the proper way to be paying your employees, however it's been several years since we've done anything and this is a great opportunity for a refresher. You can register for the webinar HERE.


We recently came across a news story about a gas station in California that also sells craft beer. This is an initiative we have been working on bringing to New Jersey as well. We have conducted many meetings with legislators and we know who the champions will be. We have been engaging them the past four years and although our focus right now is to pass the self-serve legislation, the minute that it is passed we are moving on to focus on this. 


A FINAL REMINDER FOR OUR MEMBERS: On January 1, 2022 the minimum wage increased for all workers in New Jersey. It is now set at $13.00 an hour. For an employer with fewer than six employees, the minimum is $11.90 an hour. If any of your employees are making less than this amount, make sure to inform your payroll company to increase their wages as they will not do it without your permission.


An exciting communications note to look for in the near future: We will be announcing details regarding the 2022 NJGCA scholarship that will be made available. Every member will be permitted to submit one scholarship application for the child of a member or the child of an employee of the member. Stay tuned for more details coming soon!


Be Well -  

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director



  Training Class Schedule  

All classes held at NJGCA HQ -- 4900 Route 33 West, Wall Township, NJ 07753


ASE Training Course - Reach Out Today!

Are you (or an employee) getting ready to take your A6, A8, or L1 in preparation to recertifying your Emission Repair Technician (ERT) credentials through the State's Emission Technician Education Program (ETEP)?  

We can help --- but we need to hear from you, first! 
NJGCA wants to hear from students interested in our ASE-prep training program, so we can gauge demand and schedule our next session series. 

As you know, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has always maintained a "dual-track" system to allow technicians to earn their Emission Repair Technician (ERT) credentials through New Jersey's Emission Technician Education Program (ETEP). In doing so, technicians were allowed to certify as ERTs through either an ASE-test track or an ETEP-educational class track. Starting on January 1, 2020, NJDEP amended the ETEP criteria, and the ETEP-educational class track was abolished.  

Today, only the ASE-test track remains, and all ERTs must certify or re-certify their credentials though ASE to remain in the Program. 

NJGCA has recently offered an ASE-prep class to help you get ready for the A6, A8, and L1. In doing so, students were welcome to participate in a ten-session preparatory class that covered material for all three ASE exams. We also had a handful of students who joined us only for the A8 or L1 sections.  

Once completed, students took their ASE exams with a local ASE-approved test proctor (NJGCA can train you to prepare for the ASE exams, but are not permitted to offer the actual exam - students must make these arrangements individually themselves). 

Building on that success, we are now seeking student participation in our next training series session. To make arrangements and organize a session, we need to hear from you! 

If you are interested, please email us at training@njgca.org ASAP. 

We'll record your interest, inquire on your availability, and schedule a class once we have a full complement of students.   

Only with your feedback can we gauge student headcount and participation.  

Please reach out to us today, and thank you for your interest! 

Contact Nick De Palma at Nick@njgca.org to inquire about potential trainings and class dates



  News Around The State  


Oil Rises Amid Doubts About OPEC+ Plan to Boost Production

Oil climbed amid skepticism about whether OPEC and its allies can successfully raise output as much as they intend. Futures in New York rose 1.1% to $77.85 a barrel on Wednesday. OPEC+ on Tuesday stuck to its plan to add 400,000 barrels a day next month after it cut estimates for a surplus in the first quarter. However, recent history shows the group has been severely limited in how much it can boost output -- adding just 90,000 barrels a day in December, according to a Bloomberg survey. 


Make Credit Card Companies Play by the Same Rules as Other Businesses

While many Tennessee retailers were struggling to survive the pandemic last year, big banks and credit card companies raked in over $100 billion nationwide by skimming hidden "swipe" fees off the top every time consumers used a credit or debit card to pay. For credit cards, the fees average a little over 2% of the purchase price and amount to a tax of about $2 on every $100 spent-a tax no one gets to vote on. These fees are most retailers' highest cost after labor and drive up prices by more than $700 a year for the average family, according to payments consulting firm CMSPI, far outweighing the $170 banks claim consumers receive in credit card rewards. . . If not for these fees, we could offer lower prices, hire more workers, support more local charities or maybe even open another location to better serve our customers. Instead, the money goes out of state. The big national banks that get these fees have huge profit margins-and the giant credit card companies that set the fees do, too.


Channel Price Discrimination Hurts Competition

NACS in November sent a letter to the House Agriculture Committee asking for better enforcement of the Robinson-Patman Act as the committee weighs information on supply chain issues. NACS sees serious issues with the state of the supply chain and how it affects small businesses, particularly how the convenience industry suffers from price and product discrimination imposed by some of its major suppliers. The Robinson-Patman Act was added as an amendment to the Clayton Antitrust Act in 1936. It bans certain discriminatory prices, services, and allowances in dealings between merchants. The Robinson-Patman Act has been largely unenforced for decades, but President Biden's July 2021 Executive Order on Competition directs federal agencies to enforce antitrust laws. . . Kantor writes: "Price discrimination based on arbitrary retail 'channels' raises prices and hurts competition. Even when they are larger and more efficient, convenience retailers pay higher prices than competitors on a range of products, particularly sodas.


CDC Updates Guidance for COVID-19 Infections, Exposures

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on December 27 issued new guidelines that shortened the isolation period for people who test positive for COVID-19 but have no symptoms from 10 days to five. The move could provide some help for retailers scrambling to staff their stores amid a surge in omicron-variant-linked cases. The agency now says that "people with COVID-19 should isolate for five days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by five days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter." CDC said the decision reflects the fact that "the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after."



  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  

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