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Road Warrior Newsletter

May 11, 2017

Dear NJGCA Member:

Thank you for reading this week's NJGCA Road Warrior!

Here is what you will find in this edition:

• Get to Know the Candidates: Upcoming Gubernatorial Primary Election - Tuesday, June 6, 2017; NJGCA Breakfast Meeting - Egg Harbor Twp - Wednesday May 17th

- Commercial Building for Sale. Possible Sale of Business, Too! 
- Gilbarco Encore 300 Dispensers for Sale.  Brand New in 2003.

Why It Is So Tough to Get an NJ Liquor License -- and What Can Be Done
Tax hike is only thing keeping gas prices above $2 in N.J., experts say
Tobacco Permit Rule Halts 7-Eleven Expansion in Philadelphia
Sunoco Eyes Substantial Retail Exit by Fourth Quarter
Murphy plan to overhaul NJ Transit could 'potentially' include new tax

• ONE DAY Emissions Inspector Training - Wednesday, May 24th

• The Amato Agency: Garage Insurance and Workers Compensation! 
• ATS Environmental: Confidence in your Tank & Compliance Testing

• Bellomo Fuel: Exceptional Service, Aggressive Petroleum Marketing
Gill Energy: Getting you There!
• Lending Capital: "Commercial Loans Made Easy" Program
• TMP Energy Solutions: Another Way to Save On Your Energy Bills

• Participate in the NJGCA PAC today and help us keep our Agenda rolling in Trenton!

*NEW*Energy Information Agency Weekly Retail Gasoline Prices





It is NJGCA’s policy not to tell our members who to support or vote for in any election. It has been my policy to always give members information that will help them understand each candidate’s position on certain issues of importance, and then decide who to support.  You should know that this November there is an election to choose a new governor of New Jersey, who will take office in January 2018.  Presently, there are primary elections in both the Democrat and Republican Parties to determine which candidate will represent their respective party on the ballot in November.  There is a lot at stake not only for NJGCA members but for all small businesses in general.  Please read the following information carefully, as I want to outline to you what we know as facts about each of the different candidates.  But first, let me lay out a few “rules” about Primary Elections:

  • Only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican Primary and registered Democrats can vote in the Democratic Party
  • A registered voter who is “unaffiliated” with either party can go to the polls on June 6, 2017 and vote in either the Republican Primary or Democrat Party, however, the voter will then be affiliated with that Party moving forward.
  • The deadline to register to vote is 21 days before the election. For the June 6, 2017 primary, the deadline is Tuesday May 16, 2017.
  • Voter registration forms are available online from the County Clerk’s office.

Now, I’m going to start with the Republican primary first:
The frontrunner is current Lieutenant Governor, Kim Guadagno. You may remember that she was the keynote speaker at our Gasoline and Convenience Store Summit last November. She spoke passionately about several issues and impressed all members in attendance. She is opposed to increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour and stated publicly that if the minimum wage in NJ is raised to $15/hour, then the public should expect to see self-serve gas stations follow shortly thereafter. This, of course, aligns with the NJGCA position that was adopted several years ago. Perhaps the most significant contribution that the Lieutenant Governor has made to our membership is involvement in our effort to eliminate Stage II Vapor Recovery. After banging my head against a brick wall since 2012 trying to get NJ DEP officials to permit the elimination of Stage II in NJ, I sought the assistance of the Lieutenant Governor in her role as Chair of the Red Tape Review Commission. I've written many times in the past year explaining how she stepped in and has had this issue moving quickly through the administration. As a result of her efforts, I am confident that new rules will be issued shortly, which will permit you to dismantle your Stage II systems. Kim Guadagno’s efforts in this regard cannot go unnoticed.

The Lieutenant Governor was also a staunch opponent to raising the gas tax last year, and was vocal in opposing her boss, Governor Christie, on this issue. The Lieutenant Governor has asked NJGCA to distribute lawn signs in support of her campaign. For anyone who attended the Summit and was impressed by what you heard, or for anyone else who has already made the decision to support the Kim Guadagno in the race for Governor and would like to display a lawn sign at home, at your business, or both, please contact Jacy immediately because we have access to this material and we can get it to you. NJGCA board member Norm Lippmann is also helping to distribute these signs, and he can be dispatched in the Morris County area if needed. For more info about Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno’s campaign, please visit www.Kimfornj.com. Jacy can be reached at 732-256-9646 or by replying directly to this email.
The other Republican running in the upcoming Primary Election is Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, who has been a thoughtful member of the NJ General Assembly for the past six years. Asm. Ciattarelli is a highly accomplished businessman and as a certified public accountant he has seen firsthand the harmful effects of high taxes. The thing that stands out in my mind about Asm. Ciattarelli is the thoughtful manner in which he gathers and processes information before he takes a position and votes for/against any legislation. On multiple occasions, Jack has asked me to visit his office to simply ask me a number of exploratory questions and learn more about certain issues before deciding whether to support them or not.  Asm. Ciattarelli also opposed and voted NO on increasing the gas tax last year and also opposes an increase in the minimum wage to $15/hour.  Jack has also come up with a plan that will change the way the State of NJ distributes school aid and dramatically affect your property taxes. His plan shouldn't be ignored. If you would like a lawn sign or to learn more about Asm. Ciattarelli’s campaign please visit www.jack4gov.com
On the Democrat side, I'm trying very hard to be non-partisan in the upcoming election. However, it is going to be very difficult for me to hide the legitimate fears that I have for you and your businesses if any of the Democrat candidates are elected governor. For example, Tuesday night was the first debate amongst the Democrat candidates and it didn’t even take three minutes before the frontrunner, Phil Murphy, explained how important it is for the minimum wage in New Jersey to be $15/hour, a position that his Democratic opponents not only support but have also voted for in their roles as NJ Legislators. Although several of the Democrat candidates, Asm. John Wisniewski and Sen. Ray Lesniak, both voted against the gas tax las year, it wasn’t because they didn’t want the gas tax to go up, since both were actually in favor of raising it higher, if possible. Both men voted no only because they adamantly opposed the elimination of the estate tax and the exemption of the first $100,000 of retirement income that was tied in to the gas tax increase. Both of those issues were strongly pushed and supported by NJGCA. Phil Murphy has also represented, on numerous occasions, including once in a direct verbal response to a question I asked him, that he strongly supported raising the gas tax last year, but would have strongly opposed the tax cuts that NJGCA pushed so hard to have included. 
Again I want to re-iterate my efforts to remain non-partisan and not instruct you who to support in the upcoming governor’s race, however, it is extremely difficult for me to ignore the facts and silence my fears. If any of you have any specific questions you would like to ask me about any of the candidates, feel free to email me or call the office. I am happy to discuss.  Finally, if you would like to view the debate that occurred on Tuesday night, click HERE.
My final announcement is the NJGCA Breakfast meeting next week on Wednesday May 17, 2017 at the Shore Diner in Egg Harbor Twp. These monthly meetings give NJGCA the chance to come to your neighborhood and host intimate roundtable discussions which allow YOU to ask questions, voice your concerns and get updates on some of the issues currently facing the industry.  Of course, you also get a free breakfast, and two lucky members will also be raffle winners, thanks to our generous MBPs and Sponsors of the event.  We hope you can join us at 9:30 AM on Wednesday May 17th at the Shore Diner in Egg Harbor Twp. To RSVP, please reply to this email or call Jacy at 732-256-9646.  If you live in Atlantic County, you can be expecting a call from NJGCA Staff shortly to follow up! 

Thanks for reading -- See you next week!

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director



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

Emissions Inspector Training Class - One Day Only!
Want one of your technicians to become a NJ Emissions Inspector? We can help! Our one-day class will provide all the information for becoming a NJ Emissions Inspector, and the State will administer the written test the very same day at our offices!  We are offering the class: Wednesday, May 24th from 7:00am to 3:00pm. Cost $250.
Click HERE for the registration form.




Commercial Building in Asbury Park, Possible Sale of Business, Too!  For listing information, please click HERE.
Four (4) Gilbarco Encore 300 dispensers.  Brand New in 2003.  Pumps work great, just no card readers.  Call Katie or Al at 732-739-1360.

Also offering: Transac system for pumps and two dual LSI island lights



Why It Is So Tough to Get an NJ Liquor License — and What Can Be Done
NJ’s liquor licenses are among the most expensive and restrictive in the nation. But that may be about to change. After decades of listening to restaurateurs gripe about the often prohibitively high cost of a liquor license, NJ lawmakers are poised to debate a bill that could dramatically lower the price and increase the quantity available. Since 1947, the state has restricted the number of licenses a municipality can issue, basing the formula on population. But many current and prospective restaurateurs complain that these restrictions stifle the marketplace. The relatively limited supply has driven up the resale price of licenses astronomically and forced smaller operators to open BYOBs, which are legal in NJ but suffer from slimmer profit margins than their alcohol-selling counterparts. Because restaurants and bars have proven themselves powerful 21st century economic drivers, many municipal leaders wish to bring more into their communities. But without the incentive of a liquor license, few entrepreneurs are willing to take the risk. The problem would be easier to solve if it weren’t for the fact that 7,200 business owners in NJ have already spent up to $1 million each to purchase a license, and they don’t want to accept competition from new establishments that receive far easier and cheaper access. For more information about this issue and to read the rest of the article, click the link above.
Tax hike is only thing keeping gas prices above $2 in N.J., experts say
April showers bring May flowers, but in the case of gas prices, April's increases are being washed away by a drop in the price of crude oil and wholesale gas. "If not for the 23˘ gas tax increase, we’d be seeing a lot of $1.99's out there," said Tom Kloza, Oil Price Information Service global petroleum analyst. "From April 12 to May 4, we've seen a 30˘ slide in the price of wholesale gas." Pump prices have been slower to catch up to wholesale price drops, but it will happen, Kloza said. While GasBuddy.com reported the average price of regular in the state was $2.36 per gallon on Monday morning, the bigger movement is in discount prices, which ranged from $2.03 to $2.15. The average price in NJ dropped five cents from the previous week and Kloza said drivers could see another 5˘ decrease this week. Any increases due to the switch to "summer" blend re- formulated gas have been taken. "You've got a guaranteed 5˘ drop, it'll come sooner more than later," Kloza said. Driving it is the dive that crude oil prices have taken over the past month, from a high of $53 a barrel on April 11, which slid to $45 last week. Wholesale gas has had a similar trajectory, landing at $1.50 a gallon on Friday. So what are we looking at for the summer? Demand will be up, but Kloza questioned if it will support higher prices. "When we got above $2.40 a gallon, that may be the high," he said. The wild card, of course, is OPEC, which meets on May 24 when members will talk about whether to extend the Jan. 1 cuts in crude oil production. Kloza said the smart money is on another 6 months of production cuts. On April 28, OPEC said it had "98% conformity" from member and non-member nations that agreed to make production cuts of 1.8 million barrels of oil a day.  "It's such a critical OPEC meeting, the most likely course is to roll the production cuts through the next 6 months of the year," Kloza said.
Tobacco Permit Rule Halts 7-Eleven Expansion in Philadelphia
New tobacco-permitting rules put in place late last year by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health may have led 7-Eleven to drop plans for 35 new franchised c-stores. Intended to reduce the number of tobacco sellers in low-income neighborhoods, the regulation limits the number of new permits to one retailer per 1,000 residents, taking into account daytime commuters. It will also prohibit new tobacco permits for retailers operating within 500 feet of a K-12 school. To accomplish that goal, the city may deny permits to stores when the current owner sells the business. With tobacco being 25% to 50% of a 7-Eleven store's gross revenue, the value of the current owner’s business could drop dramatically. Health department spokesman James Garrow said the city “understand(s) some retailers might be negatively impacted.” The report went on to say that more than half of the 60 7-Eleven stores open in the city are located in these newly designated zones. The new standards could affect up to 1,500 small retailers. As a result, the Delaware Valley 7-Eleven Franchise Owners Association said 35 new 7-Elevens will not be coming to Philadelphia. 7-Eleven officials did not confirm the decision to forgo Philadelphia expansion by press time. Another c-store retailer, Wawa Inc. was a high-profile detractor of the permitting rule as it made its way through the city government, ultimately influencing lawmakers to include daytime commuters when considering population density. The Wawa, Pa.-based chain runs its own c-stores, so the new permitting rule would not affect its business in the same way as a single-store owner or franchisee would.
Sunoco Eyes Substantial Retail Exit by Fourth Quarter
Sunoco will look like a different company come the end of this year. With a pending sale of more than 1,000 c-stores to 7-Eleven Inc. and hundreds more stores still on the sales block, Sunoco "will have substantially exited the retail convenience store space in the continental United States by the end of 2017," Bob Owens, president and CEO of Sunoco LP, said during the company's first-quarter earnings call last week. On April 6, Sunoco announced a definitive agreement with 7-Eleven to sell approximately 1,110 company-operated c-stores, as well as the trademark and intellectual property of The Laredo Taco Co. and Stripes, for $3.3 billion.  The two companies also agreed to enter into a 15-year, fixed-rate, take-or-pay fuel supply agreement under which Sunoco will provide base volumes of approximately 2.2 billion gallons per year with committed growth of 500,000 gallons over the first four years. "This is a transformative first step in a decision to divest convenience stores in the continental US," Owens said. "7-Eleven is a creditworthy strategic partner and with the 15-year fuel supply agreement, Sunoco will look to build on this partnership as we also build our partnerships with best-in-class dealers and distributors." Sunoco will continue to utilize its diverse channels of trade and fuel brands, he added.
Murphy plan to overhaul NJ Transit could 'potentially' include new tax
Phil Murphy, the Democratic front-runner for governor, has outlined a “multi-hundred million dollar proposition” to rebuild NJ Transit (NJT), a plan he acknowledged could mean instituting a new tax dedicated to funding the beleaguered transit agency. Murphy stressed, however, that a tax may not be necessary. “NJT needs dedicated funding that is outside the prevailing political winds, and I will explore those options,” Murphy said at a press conference at the Trenton Transit Center with several lawmakers and officials from the Amalgamated Transit Union.  Asked if the dedicated funding would come from a new tax, Murphy said “potentially.” But asked whether New Jerseyans, who just saw the state's gas tax raised by 23˘ per gallon, could stomach such an increase, Murphy said there may be other ways to raise revenue. State Sen. Bob Gordon, a Democrat co-chairing a joint committee examining NJT, suggested selling development rights at the agency’s properties, revisiting franchise fees at highway rest stops and requiring developers in transit-rich cities with booming real estate markets like Jersey City and Hoboken to pay into a “pot.” “If you pursue some of the things that Senator Gordon talked about, you could potentially find the source without having to raise any taxes,” Murphy said.  NJ's growing mass transit commuter woes have become a top issue in the race for governor. Gov. Christie is taking much of the heat even as he blames Amtrak for the problems. Under Christie, NJT's state operating assistance has fallen from $348.2 million to just $33.2 million last fiscal year.




TMP Energy Solutions

Another Way to Save on Your Energy Bills

We have had a number of NJGCA members successfully reduce their rate per kWh signing up through our energy saving program. We know it's difficult to collect 12 months worth of previous electric bills to get an "accurate" analysis when comparing a variable rate to a fixed rate, but we now have another option available. 

This new solution is a power purchase option; the other program is still in full force and has saved members thousands of dollars. If you sign up for the power purchase option, you will be grouped with other NJGCA members until the minimum kW demand is acquired. By pooling the member's usage together, you will be able to take advantage, as large energy users do, and receive a lower kWh rate.

Each member will receive their own contract. Each member is responsible to sign and return the agreement the day it is received in order to secure the price for their group.

Please do your due diligence, so when you receive the proposal and the agreement you will be able to make an intelligent decision.

If by chance, you still want us to assess you bills, to give you a price to compare, we will require 12 months of your most recent utility bills.

There are no bills required, but we would still like to have one bill per meter on file to check account #'s, meter #'s  service addresses and other pertinent information incase there is a problem.

The term of the agreement is for 12 months. During this term period, you will have price protection against any energy price increases along with a low fixed kWh rate.

If you are interested in becoming part of this power purchase option, please contact Greg Cannon at the NJGCA.

Remember when you sign up your energy through the NJGCA Energy Program, TMP makes a considerable donation to the NJGCA Scholarship Fund through their proceeds. This has no affect on your rate, and costs you nothing out of pocket.

We hope to help hundreds of NJGCA members reduce their utility costs by participating in this and our other cost reduction programs.  Our purpose, in the endeavor, is to help NJGCA members lower their energy costs while supporting the NJGCA Scholarship Fund. 

Contact GREG CANNON at 732-256-9646 or email Greg at greg@njgca.org. Mention that you are interested in saving money on your energy bills. NJGCA & TMP Energy Solutions will handle all the rest. 




Promoting our agenda in Trenton is of utmost importance to NJGCA and our members.

However, in order to truly affect the debate, we must ensure our friends in the Legislature are re-elected. It is for this reason that your Association has established the NJGCA PAC.

For too long, the weight of funding our Political Action Committee, the arm of the Association responsible for political donations, has rested upon a few. This is not only unfair to those few members who have shouldered this burden, but means we are not utilizing our full strength to affect the debate in Trenton.

To truly understand the importance of supporting our allies, consider our successes in Trenton:

We made history in getting FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL signed into law!
We have built large support for RIGHT TO REPAIR and got it passed out of the Assembly
We defended your small business against the false accusations of Attorney General Anne Milgram
We gained wide support to move New Jersey to an all PIF Inspection System and close the CIF lanes
...and MUCH MORE!!

In each instance, we achieved these goals with the help of our friends in the Legislature!

If every member contributes just $100.00 we will be able to provide the help necessary to ensure victory for our allies. 

4900 Route 33 West, Suite 100
Wall Township, NJ 07753
Please make your donation payable to NJGCA PAC

I understand that times are tough for all NJGCA members, but this is just as important as any battle we have fought in the past.

We have made great progress in Trenton. I hope that you will answer the call. 


*NEW* 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.