Road Warrior Newsletter

April 17, 2009


Dear NJGCA Member:


They say that you can always tell who your true friends are when the going gets rough.  And with Big Oil close to divesting a number of their retail locations throughout the state, independent Lessee dealers are most certainly in a rough situation. 

Luckily they have acted quickly enough to organize and seek legal counsel on how to prevent getting the rug pulled out from under them.  Meanwhile, Team NJGCA and our allies have been hard at work to get our First Right of Refusal legislation passed in Trenton as a mechanism to prevent this disastrous sell off.

But even as we collectively work to solve this problem and protect small business owners, some people are beginning to reconsider their loyalties.

Recently I’ve already heard of individuals pressuring coalition members to “cut deals” rather than fight alongside fellow dealers.  They’ll say I’m a Shell franchisee, what do I care what the Exxon lessees get?” or “Let Sunoco guys fight for themselves, I fly the Lukoil flag; this won’t affect me!”

I’ve even heard of a handful of outspoken – and utterly uninformed – individuals exaggerating their own importance while claiming to “represent” the entire coalition in order to get favorable treatment from Big Oil. 

Exxon lessee dealers will soon be meeting with Exxon representatives regarding the divestiture.  Since legal and legislative pressures have helped bring them to the table, we can undoubtedly assume that Exxon will try to tempt these dealers to break with the coalition. 

All of this presents an enticing situation for the more easily swayed among us to break ranks and foolishly abandon their fellow retailers.

DO NOT fall for their ploy and DO NOT fall for the rhetoric of any misinformed or misleading “friends” in the coalition.  None of this is helpful in fighting for your survival - It is only a distraction that your opponents will use against you!

Let me put this plainly: Whether you are an Exxon, Shell, Sunoco, and Lukoil franchisee who WILL BE FACING a divestiture down the line or a lessee dealer flying another brand’s flag, a failure to get First Right of Refusal passed WILL AFFECT YOU.  Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is full of BULL-POOP.

In our struggle to get First Right of Refusal passed in Trenton, we are very aware that we are fighting on borrowed time.  We have to get our proposal on the Governor’s Desk before any divestiture is completed. 

We CANNOT win this battle if we begin to listen to false friends or allow conspirators to undermine our hard work!  We are NOT fighting this battle to protect Exxon or Shell or Brand X’s franchisees – we’re fighting for ALL lessee dealers in New Jersey.

Stay positive and if anyone has any doubts, questions or concerns, please reach out to me at your convenience!

We have just learned that the Senate Commerce Committee will meet soon.  This presents our first opportunity to get Right to Repair on the agenda and moving again in Trenton.  Click HERE if you haven’t read our latest Wildfire Alert with the details.

Finally, I’m pleased to announce a new feature on our homepage.  Sal’s Corner is a blog where I will get the chance to opine - or rant - on whatever topic comes to mind!   Take a moment, ready my first blog post, and leave your own thoughts!  Click HERE!

Thanks for listening - See you next week!

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director


BUSINESS FOR SALE: Are you interested in expanding your business?

BUSINESS TOOLS: National Credit Solutions
•Do you have credit problems?  Improve your credit with NCS Group!

ANNOUNCEMENT: NJ Green Automotive Repair Council
•New program launched to promote "green" auto repair facilities

•License rules will change for young drivers
Deficits rise on state pension funds
State approves nearly $1 billion for energy infrastructure
NJGCA in the News: NJGCA, Organizations band together for green initiative


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Emily Bielen, owner of John’s American Service Center, is selling her small business.

PROPERTY DESCRIPTION:  A corner service station; has been owned and operated by the same proprietor since 1956.  The owner is retiring and seeks interested parties.  The station has two bays with lifts and an office.  Currently the station performs full service automotive repairs and tire sales.  Gas pumps and tanks were completely upgraded to EPA guidelines in 1994, including double-wall fiberglass tanks and lines. 

Property also includes a 3-family, fully rented apartment building.  A two-car garage and a three-car garage are also included on the property; either can be used for additional storage or rental.

All buildings and garages will be included in the sale.

PROPERTY LOCATION: The station is a corner lot located at the intersection of 16th Street & Grove Street in Irvington, conveniently situated one block up from Garden State Parkway Exit 144.

For full location details and to view this classified ad, please click HERE

Interested parties are to contact Emily Bielen at 732-388-9291

If you are interested in placing a classified ad, please contact Debbie Hill.

BUSINESS TOOLS: National Credit Solutions

Because of the current credit crunch with our economy, many of you are wondering if there is anything that you can do to improve your credit position. NJGCA may have a solution to your credit concerns. We are working with the NCS Group.  NCS offers credit repair, restoration and education through their exclusive Multi-Phase System™.

“At National Credit Solutions their only mission is to change the lives of their clients by restoring their credit and their confidence to a level that allows them to embrace their dreams and goals in obtaining homes, cars and endless opportunities.”

Is your credit score too low for you to do a loan at this time? Would higher credit scores enable you to qualify for lower interest rates, qualify for lower down payments, purchase more home, save dollars on all your home, auto, life and health insurance policies?

NCS offers a free evaluation and consultation after they have evaluated your credit report. After the free evaluation and consultation and then, when the restoration process is complete and we have raised your credit score and standardized your report, you are eligible, free of charge, for up to 36 months of financial counseling and education.

If the answers to the above questions are yes, please call Charles Gray at National Credit Solutions. Charles may be reached at 201 498-1105.

You can also contact Phil Apruzzi at the NJGCA office to get you “On The Road” to credit restoration. Phil can be reached at 973-376-0066 x- 209. Don’t forget you can also contact the NJGCA Territory Manager for your area.

Visit the NCS website to learn more;

ANNOUNCEMENT: NJ Green Automotive Repair Council

NJGCA is proud to announce our participation in the NJ Green Automotive Repair Council

The Association is taking part in the program along with AAA NJ Car Care, the NJ Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJCAR), and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.  
The council's mission is to encourage NJ automotive repair facilities to adopt environmentally responsible business practices. 

Through a certification program for dealership and independent automotive repair facilities, the council will also establish “green” repair standards.  Those who are reviewed and qualify will receive certification.  Stickers will also be given to those facilities to illustrate their participation in the program.

The program will officially be announced on April 21st at a press event to be held at NJ AAA Car Care Center in Springfield, NJ.
If you would like to participate in the program and fill out an application, please contact Debbie Hill at 973-376-0066.  An application fee and annual review fee are applicable.  

More facts about the program are available


License rules will change for young drivers
Governor Corzine has signed two new bills into law that will affect the licensing of younger drivers.  One measure will require drivers under 21 years of age to display a decal on their vehicles to illustrate they are new drivers.  The other measure will limit all drivers under 21 to one passenger unless accompanied by parent or guardian.

Deficits rise on state pension funds
The retirement benefit fund for state workers such as teachers and firefighters now faces a long-term shortfall of over $34 billion.  According to Treasury officials, the deficit is up $6 billion from last year’s shortfall.

State approves nearly $1 billion for energy infrastructure
Officials on the state Board of Public Utilities have green-lighted $956 million in energy infrastructure projects.  Proponents believe that fund-infusion will directly and indirectly create 14,000 new jobs.

NJGCA in the News: NJGCA, Organizations band together for green initiative
A new automotive repair certification program will debut later this month.  The program will designate facilities as environmentally friendly.  Participants include NJGCA, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, AAA New Jersey, and the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers.  Click above for more details!

Serving the small businesses that serve the motorist