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March 31, 2022
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  









Tomorrow, April 1st at 12pm we are hosting another webinar with someone from FreeWire to discuss the State's new grant program for the installation of an EV fast charger. We had an enormous response from the first webinar we did two weeks ago, I'm happy to see so many of you emailing us to look into it further. The business case for installing one of these chargers changes significantly when the State is offering a grant that pays for much of the cost. If you need a refresher or if you couldn't make it 2 weeks ago make sure you do now, the grant opportunity is only through mid-May and realistically you must decide whether to apply by May 1st in order to have everything completed in time. Click here to register:



Recently many of you have written to tell me you're ready to help take action to get self-serve legislation passed. Please consider this a formal request: Even if you've done it before, even if you just did it within the last few days, please email me Sal@njgca.org or just reply to this email if you are willing to participate in a self-serve awareness campaign of some kind, at your station, to educate your customers about the benefits of convenience and savings they could have if self-serve were permitted. I will share more details about what specifically we are planning to do as it develops, look for an email. 

Also, if you do not already please follow the Fuel Your Way NJ Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FuelYourWayNJ/ and please like and promote its contents to your friends and followers. 


This date is approaching fast, and given the significance of this change and how it affects every retail business in this state, you want to be prepared now, particularly with the supply chain issues we've all seen the last two years. 

As part of legislation that was passed and signed into law in November 2020, on May 4th a variety of restrictions will come into effect dealing with bags and Styrofoam products. All single-use plastic carryout bags will be banned at all retail stores in the state. Single-use paper bags will still be allowed, but only for convenience stores under 2,500 square feet and businesses that do not sell food. Paper bags are generally more expensive than plastic bags, and c-stores under 2,500 sq. ft. are free to choose not to provide them at all and instead ask customers to either go bagless or purchase a reusable carryout bag. Stores could also charge a small fee for a paper bag if they wished to. Reusable carryout bags are defined as a bag that "(1) is made of polypropylene, PET nonwoven fabric, nylon, cloth, hemp product, or other machine washable fabric; (2) has stitched handles; and (3) is designed and manufactured for multiple reuse." We encourage you to stock some of these bags for sale to customers.

There are several small exemptions to the plastic bag ban: a bag used solely to contain uncooked meat or fish, a bag used to package loose items like fruit, nuts, coffee, candy, flowers, small hardware items, etc., a bag used to contain food sliced or prepared to order including soup or hot food, a newspaper bag. 

Also banned are most food packaging products made of expanded polystyrene foam, commonly known as Styrofoam. This includes drink cups and food containers. There are several exceptions: disposable long-handled foam soda spoons used for thick drinks, portion cups 2oz or less, trays for raw meat or fish, and food that was prepackaged by the manufacturer with Styrofoam.

One benefit of this law is that once it goes into effect it totally overrides all local rules and ordinances covering these items, so if your local government had either prohibited paper bags or required your store to charge a fee for them, they will no longer be required to do so. Also, the penalty for violating any provision of this law is a warning for the first offense. The State has also set up a dedicated webpage for business owners covering these rules, which includes a list of vendors and distributors who sell approved reusable bags. 


The marketplace for crude oil and motor fuel continues to be as chaotic as I've ever seen. Three weeks ago WTI crude was about $124 a barrel, two weeks ago it was $95 a barrel, one week ago it was $115, two days ago it was about $104 and now it's creeping back up. Every news story, from Russian troop movements to Chinese coronavirus outbreaks is leading to huge shifts in the market by the speculators. Rack prices follow closely behind, jumping 10¢ a gallon one day and then falling 20¢ the next day. These kinds of swings are why we consistently advise you to keep your margin as high as possible, you will need the additional revenues to cover on the day you inevitably wind up buying a load of fuel just before a double-digit drop in price that a competitor takes advantage of. 

Some of the decrease over the last few days is likely because suppliers or refiners need to empty their inventories of winter blend gas, as of April 15th they need to be supplying the more expensive summer blend gas, that higher cost will soon lead to higher price increases.


Last year NJGCA awarded 4 scholarships to children of NJGCA members and the children of employees NJGCA members.  A total of $10,000 was awarded with $5000 being contributed thanks to the generosity of Utica Insurance.  Utica Insurance is the insurance company that insures many NJGCA. The contribution was arranged by NJGCA MBP Amato Agency.  Once again Utica has contributed $5000 towards a scholarship that is to be awarded to a student attending an automotive technical school or studying automotive technology.  The NJGCA Board of Directors has also approved participation in additional awards. Be on the lookout for an email that will enable you to complete the scholarship application online.  Each NJGCA member will be entitled to submit ONE application that will be reviewed by the scholarship committee.  The application may be submitted for the child of a member, or the child of an employee that works for the NJGCA member. More details will follow soon.


All members who are scheduled to renew their membership will receive an email with an electronic invoice and a link to pay for it. When you go to the site to pay you will have to retrieve your logon information as it has changed from last year. You'll receive an email with the new logon credentials. 

When you pay the invoice, a confirmation email will be generated. Also, when you click on the "continue" link in the email, you will see the actual invoice with details and an option to print it or download it to your computer. For all other members renewing throughout 2022, this is the new procedure for billing and payment. It is important to check your emails on or about the first of the month of your renewal. Reminder invoices will also be sent out on or about the first of the month. Any questions or concerns can be addressed by emailing accounting@njgca.org          

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  


New Jersey Should Let We The People Vote On Self-Serve Gas (Opinion)

Just when we thought that with a new Senate president and a proposed bill that would bring self-serve gas to New Jersey we could finally be able to pump our own and not be at the mercy of an overworked or lazy attendant while we stare dumbfounded at an orange cone in front of the pump, new Senate President Nicholas Scutari opposes the idea. . . Sal Risalvato, executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline, Convenience store, and Automotive Association has explained numerous times on all of our New Jersey 101.5 shows that consumers would save 15 cents a gallon if not more.


COVID-19 Concerns Continue Downward Trend

Consumers are increasingly comfortable with out-of-the-home activities, and they think a "new normal" post-COVID-19 era is here to stay, but economic concerns have surged, reports Numerator. Concern over COVID-19 has continued to decline from its omicron-driven spike at the turn of the year. One in three (34%) consumers say they are highly concerned about COVID, down from 42% last month and 50% in January. February and March have seen comfort levels for all out-of-home activities rise. Behaviors with the most significant increases in comfort were shopping inside with no mask, traveling and eating inside a restaurant. Despite the rising comfort levels, many don't expect society to return to pre-COVID norms. More than 7 in 10 said they agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, "I think we will learn to live with COVID-19 rather than ever fully returning to a pre-COVID 'normal.'"


Will N.J. Suspend Its Gas Tax To Curb High Prices? Here's What Gov. Murphy Says

A handful of states have suspended their gas taxes to combat sky-high prices at the pump. Maryland and Georgia did it last week. Connecticut followed suit Thursday. And there are similar proposals in Florida, Ohio, and West Virginia. But will New Jersey join the list? Gov. Phil Murphy says it's complicated. Speaking Thursday night during his call-in TV show on News 12, Murphy said it would be difficult to suspend New Jersey's gas tax because, by law, the money is dedicated to helping fund major transportation projects in the state. "Folks say, 'Well, maybe you could stop the project,'" the governor said. "The problem is: When you reboot it, it costs a lot more money to start."


'It's Going To Be An Issue' - NJ Shoppers Prepare For Upcoming Bag Ban
New Jersey is a little more than a month away from the start of a rule that will forever change the shopping habits of most New Jersey consumers. Starting May 4, no retailer or food service provider will be able to give or sell you a single-use plastic bag at checkout. Paper bags will also be forbidden at bigger supermarkets. The law was signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in November 2020, giving businesses and residents 18 months to prepare for the big shift.


NJ Business Owners Feel Impact Of Boycotts On Russian Products

In the U.S., some people have decided to boycott Russian products in a show of solidarity with Ukraine. But are those individual protests hurting the Russian economy - or hurting New Jerseyans who have nothing to do with the war? Roger Verma, owner of a Lukoil gas station franchise in Newark, says business is down, and that's hurting Americans. His franchise buys American gasoline processed less than 10 miles away at ​the Bayway ​refinery, which is distributed by an American-owned subsidiary of Lukoil.

*video accompanying article includes NJGCA Executive Director Sal Risalvato and member Roger Verma*


Dunkin Has Opened A Digital-Only Store In N.J.

Dunkin', one of the the nation's biggest and most popular coffee chains, opened a digital-only restaurant in Cherry Hill on Tuesday. It is the first in New Jersey, located at 1490 Haddonfield-Berlin Rd. The digital-only shop has three kiosks that replace traditional ordering at counters. Instead of placing an order with a cashier, customers order using the in-store kiosks or on Dunkin's mobile app.


Republicans Ramp Up Voter Registration Efforts At N.J. Gas Stations

Republicans want Americans experiencing pain at the pump to join the party. The RNC launched voter registration efforts across the country this month including at locations in five battleground Garden State counties: Burlington, Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, and Union. Each of those counties comprises at least part of a competitive congressional district. New Jersey gasoline hit an all-time high on March 10th and remains well above $4.00 per gallon. The average gallon of gas rose by over one dollar per gallon under Joe Biden before the war in Ukraine began last month.



  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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  Classifieds: For Sale and Help Wanted Ads  

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