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Road Warrior Newsletter

November 02, 2017

Dear NJGCA Member

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

Here is what you will find in this edition:

• Superstorm Sandy: 5 Year Anniversary; Election on November 7th; Tobacco Purchase Age is Now 21 Years Old! Annual Mtg of Service Station Dealers of America (SSDA)

- Monmouth County: Gas Station and Repair Shop Business Since 2001
- Asbury Park: Commercial Building for Sale. Possible Sale of Business
- Bergen County: Shell Gas Station with 6-Bay Repair Shop for Sale

Expect More Grocery, C-Store Disruption from Amazon
Texas AG Accuses Dozens of Retailers of Price Gouging
Restrictions on Tobacco Products Continue Growing
Full-Service Gas Stations Still Alive in Iowa
U.S. lawmaker wants to extend N.J. law against post-disaster price gouging
Sheetz Expanding E15 Availability Thanks to $7M Federal Grant
We held a funeral for cheap gas a year ago today. How much have prices changed?
The story of the twin Parkway service areas on private property

• Entire Emission Repair Technician Course - Starting Nov. 7th

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

• Bellomo Fuel: Exceptional Service, Aggressive Petroleum Marketing
• CBIZ Insurance: Our Business is Growing Yours!

Gill Energy: Getting you There!
• Lending Capital: "Commercial Loans Made Easy" Program
• Salomone Brothers: Tank Testing and Environmental Compliance
• TMP Energy Solutions: Another Way to Save On YouEnergy Bills

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

*NEW*Energy Information Agency Weekly Retail Gasoline Prices




As you all should recall, this past weekend marked the 5th Anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, where New Jersey suffered grave damage, extensive power outages and weeks-long gas shortages stemming from damaged terminals and an inability to delivery gas to retail locations.  In the immediate aftermath of the storm, there were a number of gas stations, including several NJGCA members, who ignored NJ price gouging laws and had to pay significant fines, upwards of $50,000.  In the wake of the recent storm in Texas, over 100 retailers were charged with violations of the Texas gouging law. 

Since most states already do have gouging laws, and sometimes the price implications of a storm can spread across various states outside of the State where the disaster first occurred, it appears that Washington D.C. may want to address the issue. New Jersey’s very own Congressman Frank Pallone held a press conference this week to announce a proposal of federal anti-gouging legislation that will cover the entire country.  Since NJ already has a strict anti-gouging law, this may not impact us, unless the federal law imposes greater restrictions than the law that currently exists in New Jersey. I’ll keep my eye on it and report to you as things develop.
Last week I encouraged you all to make some time to read the NJGCA Voter Guide, and I hope you all have done so. If not, please do before Tuesday! This is a very important election.  The race for Governor is going to impact you in many ways.  Most importantly, Democrat candidate Phil Murphy emphatically supports $15/hour minimum wage and Republican candidate for Governor, Kim Guadagno, does not! There are many other differences between the two, but that one issue looms large over your business and could have a devastating impact on your ability to remain competitive.  The Voter Guide provides much more information about the Senate/Assembly races in each of NJ’s 40 legislative districts. If you have any questions or need any clarification on the information that we have provided, please reach out before Tuesday!  Get out and vote on Tuesday, November 7th!  Make your voices heard and protect your businesses!
On Monday, we sent a reminder to all of you that sell tobacco products – you must now check ID and make sure that you do not sell any tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21. No, I don’t believe that this will keep one single person from smoking, as anyone under the age of 21 will still be able to get their cigarettes one way or another. It is simply more of a burden on you, but it’s the law, so please comply! I don't want to see any of my members getting caught up in sting operations that could cost you thousands of dollars, and your license!
This past week, I spent a few days at the annual meeting of Service Station Dealers of America (SSDA) in Las Vegas.  There, I met with my counterparts who run our sister Associations in many other states. Not surprisingly, the issues you face in your auto repair shops, at your gas pumps and in your convenience stores are mirrored in businesses all across the country.  Some states already have $15/hour minimum wage laws and are struggling mightily.  This conference coincides with the Automotive Industry Week which is held annually in Las Vegas.  I know many of you have attended SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association) in the past, or have indicated that it is a show you would like to visit. I can tell you that it is an enormous and impressive show, and of great interest to anyone in the auto repair business.  I know it’s still a year away, but I want to start making a list of members who would be interested in attending (with me) next year. If I can get enough members that wish to attend, I’ll try to put together one or two special events for us. Please reply to this email to let me know to include you!

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

Emission Technician Education Program (ETEP) - Entire Repair Technician Curriculum - Starts Nov. 7th
Stop turning away work!!  The New Jersey Inspection Program requires vehicles that fail emissions inspection to go to a Licensed Certified Emission Inspector for Repairs!
 When the new program begins, a list of Certified Emission Repair Shops will be given to vehicle owners! If you want your business name on the list – make sure you have a Certified Licensed Emission Repair Technician & an Emission Repair Facility License!

This class runs on Tuesdays and Thursday from 2:00 PM to 10:00 PM for
FIVE consecutive weeks.
Class begins on Tuesday, November 7th and ends on Tuesday December 12th.

Fees for members are $2,195 and non-members are $2,495.
$500 deposit is due at time of registration.

Click HERE for registration form.

Emissions Inspector Training Class - One Day Only!
TUESDAY, November 14th -- 7am to 3pm

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: Tuesday, November 14 from 7:00am to 3:00pm. Cost $275.
Click HERE for the registration form.





Business For Sale: Monmouth County gas station and repair shop in business since 2001 is for sale. Owner is relocating out of state and is interested in selling business and equipment. Owner is open to limited financing. Business has a strong 10 year lease. The building has two repair bays and the gas pumps are leased to a large independent tenant. Repair shop business currently employs a Manager and two full-time Technicians. For inquiries and more info, please call Mark at 908-670-7798.

Commercial Building in Asbury Park, Possible Sale of Business, Too!  For listing information, please click HERE.
Shell Gas Station with 6-Bay Repair Shop for Sale in Bergen County!

Business established in 1980. Fully equipped repair shop with 5 lifts including an alignment rack with a 2-year-old Hunter Hawkeye alignment machine. New Hunter tire machine & wheel balancer. AAA aproved and very busy.
Towing business also available which includes 3 Freightliner/JerrDan flatbeds (2015, 2016 & 2017), a 2012 Dodge crew cab wrecker with a Jerrdan Quick Pick & dual cable winch & 2 service trucks (a 2012 GMC 2500 utility truck with a plow & a 2014 Ford transit battery/service vehicle).

Pumping over 1,000,000 gallons per year. 100x300 lot with plenty of parking. Excellent location!!! Call Jim @ 201-851-3084.




Expect More Grocery, C-Store Disruption from Amazon
Amazon has more disruption up its sleeve for the convenience-store and grocery industries, executives with the online and increasingly brick-and-mortar retail giant hinted during its third-quarter earnings call. Amazon sent shock waves through the retail food universe when it launched an employee-only pilot of Amazon Go, a cashier-less c-store, in December 2016, and then acquired specialty grocer Whole Foods Market in August 2017. The moves prompted dire predictions of the retail innovation putting both c-stores and supermarkets out of business. That threat has yet to be realized, but industry observers are still watching every move that Amazon makes with Whole Foods, Amazon Go and other initiatives to look for more signs of doom and, more important, for ways to compete. Now Amazon says it is developing new store formats that will integrate its numerous retail concepts, including Whole Foods, Amazon Go, Prime Now, AmazonFresh, Amazon Bookstores, Amazon Lockers and possibly other initiatives. Click the link above to take a look at what might be coming…
Texas AG Accuses Dozens of Retailers of Price Gouging
The Texas attorney general has accused more than 100 fuel retailers of price gouging during the state of disaster declared for Hurricane Harvey. The attorney general's office received about 5,500 price-gouging complaints related to Hurricane Harvey, with many including evidence such as photos and receipts. The state’s Consumer Protection Division has sent violation notices to 127 Texas businesses, all accused of charging $3.99 or higher for a gallon of gasoline or diesel.  Many are located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. According to the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA), it is illegal for businesses to charge exorbitant prices for fuel or other necessities during a declared disaster. The law authorizes the attorney general to sue offenders for price gouging and seek refunds for consumers, as well as to enforce civil penalties of up to $20,000 per violation.  There are also extra fines of up to $250,000 for incidents involving a consumer who is 65 years or older.T Texas Gov. Greg Abbott first declared states of disaster in some Texas counties on Aug. 23.  As recently as Oct. 20, he had renewed his declaration in 60 counties. “At the outset of Harvey, I made it clear that my office would not tolerate price gouging of vulnerable Texans by any individuals or businesses looking to profit from the hurricane,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a statement. “We’ve given 127 alleged offenders an opportunity to resolve these issues with our office or face possible legal action for violating state law. Our investigation of other businesses into price gouging remains ongoing.” The violation notifications follow two lawsuits the attorney general’s office filed in September against two fuel retailers -- one in the Dallas area and one outside of Laredo -- for price gouging. Those cases cite prices as high as $9.99 per gallon.
Restrictions on Tobacco Products Continue Growing
As NJ officially raises the legal age for buying tobacco from 19 to 21, effective Nov. 1, a Chicago suburb is considering raising its minimum age of purchase from 18 to 21 as an alternative to totally banning tobacco sales. The mayor of Elk Grove Village, Ill., had hoped to make his community the first in the country to ban tobacco sales. However, after discussion over the matter, only one or two members of the six-member board were leaning toward supporting the proposal, the mayor told the news source. “I respect my board. I have nothing but the utmost respect. My board members were concerned about the impact on the businesses,” Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson said. “I had a little more support than I had 10 years ago when I brought it up last time. So it might just not be the right time yet, but I’m not going to give up my efforts.” Instead of pushing forward with his proposal, Johnson said he will ask the board to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. With hearings scheduled for November, he said that has a “very favorable outlook.” Meanwhile in NJ, Gov. Christie signed a bill into law this past July raising the legal age to buy tobacco from 19 to 21. The law applies to tobacco products and electronic cigarettes, and it becomes effective Nov. 1. So far, five states -- Maine, California, Hawaii, NJ and Oregon -- have changed the legal age to buy tobacco products to 21.
Full-Service Gas Stations Still Alive in Iowa
At the Co-op Gas and Oil Company station, customers might feel like they’ve stepped back in time as attendants like Oscar Morales pump gas, check fluids and tire pressure, and wash windows for customers. Outside of Oregon and NJ, which mandate attendants pump gas, full-service gas stations have largely disappeared in this era of self-service and DIY. “There are customers we have that don’t know how to pump their own gas,” said Tyler Boone, who manages the station. “When we shut down for construction, we had a couple older ladies that didn’t know how to do it, so we sent an employee to another station to pump it for them.” Co-op Gas has been a staple in the community, pumping gas since 1923. Today, three employees pump gas at all the islands, which adds to the cost of the gas. Boone said the station usually charges around 5˘ more per gallon than other stations. “But we are a cooperative. We are not doing everything for the almighty dollar,” he said. “Long before you were driving, customers would pull up to the dispenser and not only receive full-service but were also offered glassware and other collectible trinkets that cemented their loyal customer following,” said Dawn Carlson, president of the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa. When the first pay-at-the-pumps came online in 1964, full-service began to decline. “Unattended fuel changed everything. States relaxed full-service mandates and convenience stores grew,” said Jeff Lenard, spokesperson at NACS.
U.S. lawmaker wants to extend N.J. law against post-disaster price gouging
A New Jersey congressman has proposed legislation he said will combat price gouging after natural disasters. U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, a Democrat, said his “Stand Up” Act would empower the Federal Trade Commission to prohibit excessive pricing of consumer goods or services within 180 days of the declaration of a major disaster, as well as determining the fines for violators. “No one should have to pay excessive prices for essentials such as food, water, and gasoline when they’re a victim of a natural disaster,” he said. “We had so many cases of this during Sandy. And it seems like it’s getting worse now … 17,000 cases have been reported in Florida alone,” Pallone said. “And I know, in the situation in Puerto Rico, we hear about it all the time.” Price gouging is despicable, said Beverly Brown Ruggia with NJ Citizen Action. “Sadly, we are going to have more and more natural disasters,” she said. “And it’s going to take law enforcement, unfortunately, and government regulation to make sure that when those disasters happen, that people who are in crisis will not be deceived, treated unfairly, or abused by a greedy business sector.” NJ has a state law that prohibits increases that are more than 10% above the typical price before a state of emergency was declared. Pallone said his legislation would provide protections for consumers nation-wide. “For NJ, it’s more of a backup. And, hopefully, they’ll be more staff and people that could help with actually pursuing some of the perpetrators of the law,” he said. “And if you had a situation where NJ really wasn’t doing what they were supposed to, then people could go to the FTC as an alternative.”
Sheetz Expanding E15 Availability Thanks to $7M Federal Grant
Sheetz Inc. is significantly expanding its ethanol offerings due to a $7- million federal grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  E15 fuel is now available at 340 more fuel pumps at 77 Sheetz convenience stores across Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding and representatives from Sheetz, the USDA and the ethanol industry gathered at one of the stores showcasing the new infrastructure on Oct. 23. "Biofuels are an important component of the diverse energy portfolio that will power our country in the future," Redding said in a statement. "Alternative fuels create new markets for agricultural products, which can lead to greater production and better prices for our farmers. So while the agriculture industry helps to grow the feedstock to produce biofuels, we also need to be sure the market exists for these alternative fuels. That requires making access more convenient for consumers. I thank Sheetz for partnering with us, and we thank the USDA for helping us put in place the pumps to meet consumers' demands." The grant was part of the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership program, which is administered by the USDA's Farm Service Agency. In 2015, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture submitted the grant on behalf of Sheetz and later oversaw project implementation, including record keeping, performance reporting and compliance enforcement.
We held a funeral for cheap gas a year ago today. How much have prices changed?
One year ago this week, NJ drivers were preparing for the end of cheap gas as we knew it, as motorists filled up one last time on the eve of a 23˘ increase in the state gas tax. The state that was forever known for cheap gas changed overnight to the 8th highest gas tax in the nation at 37˘ per gallon. A year ago Tuesday, the average price for regular in New Jersey was $2.02 per-gallon and the national average was $2.20. After the tax hike, the average price of regular in the state rose to $2.28 per-gallon for regular, which was higher than the national average price of $2.22 last November. On Tuesday, the state average for regular was $2.48, just 1˘ higher than the national average. The trend to mirror the national average wasn't an anomaly. A week earlier, the state average was $2.43 and the national average was $2.45. One month ago, on Sept. 25, NJ's price was $2.57 compared to the national average of $2.54. Drivers had an ally helping them pay part of the 23˘ increase in retailers and oil companies that absorbed some of the cost, experts said.  "Immediately after the tax was passed, the price went up, but not to the full extent of the increase," said Siamack Shojai, dean of William Paterson University's Cotsakos College of Business. "Four to five cents (of the tax increase) was absorbed by the industry."
The story of the twin Parkway service areas on private property
There are two service areas on the Garden State Parkway that aren't officially franchised service areas owned by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. In fact, they aren't even on authority land. So how did they get there? Other Parkway service areas are owned by the Turnpike Authority, and they house Sunoco gas stations.  But service areas on either side of the Parkway in Woodbridge contain both Exxon and Shell stations, as well as a Circle K and a planned Dunkin' Donuts. So what gives? We asked John O'Hern, deputy executive director of the Turnpike Authority, how those service centers came to be. The twin service areas, he said, were on the highway that predated the Parkway, he said. "They're on private property. They were pre-existing, non-conforming uses. Our right-of-way surrounds them," O'Hern said. "It's a donut hole on private property. We are required by statute to provide access." According to Middlesex County Clerk's records, the gas stations carry a street address of Garden State Parkway. And unlike the franchised service areas on the Parkway, gas prices in the two Colonia service areas aren't regulated by the Turnpike Authority, he said. The four gas stations in the two service areas are owned by three limited liability corporations. PMG New Jersey II LLC owns the two Exxon stations, which were part of the 117 stations in the state that the company acquired from Exxon when the giant divested 2,200 stations in 2012.




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.