Road Warrior Newsletter

June 12, 2009


Dear NJGCA Member:


Yesterday, your association informed you that Governor Corzine signed into law A-3726/S-2553 - our First Right of Refusal legislation.

After many months of endless meetings and hard work, this is a MAJOR VICTORY for lessee dealers and gas retailers in New Jersey.

I cannot adequately express how historic and significant this accomplishment is.  This is a game-changer.  For years, many in the industry have attempted to get similar legislation passed around the nation.  We have succeeded where they have failed - and it is a testament to your dedication that made this triumph possible.  You should feel proud.

In light of this triumph, we must also reflect on the continuing changes in our industry.  This business, like any other, has evolved over the years.  In the past, each independent station was typically owned by a single business owner.  Today, it isn’t uncommon to have a single person own 15 stations or more. This has had an effect on the industry that many have not foreseen. 

What am I talking about?  Less owners/members will ultimately mean we have a smaller number of people to get things done in Trenton.  That doesn’t seem significant right up front, but I can assure that longer-term it may hinder our ability to effectively lobby legislators and officials in Trenton.  It also means that you may have to change the way you see your participation in NJGCA.

Case in point is our battle to get First Right of Refusal passed.  For six months, Exxon and Shell dealers worked to defend their rights.  They worked hard and were a huge part of our success, BUT, they worked hard because they had a gun pointed at their heads.  Along the way, other brand dealers sat on the sideline and will now reap the benefit of their hard work when their own oil company begins to divest their properties. This is not fair!  If you are paying $10,000 a month in rent, isn’t it better to pay $10,000 a month in mortgage instead?  In 5 years when rents are $15,000 a month and you are still paying $10,000 a month in a mortgage you will be saving $60,000 a year.  Thank Exxon and Shell dealers, and thank NJGCA.

While I am incredibly proud of the station owners who participated in this struggle, I am very disappointed that other brands didn’t do their share.    Hey….everyone is busy!    That is the reason that other branded dealers were able to use for not helping…..why?....because they didn’t have a gun pointed to their heads.  You know who you are.   You also know others that do not belong to NJGCA.   It is time for you to recruit them and get them to stop being freeloaders.

We MUST STOP waiting for the gun to be pressed against our heads before acting.  We MUST START looking at things from an industry-wide perspective or we will assuredly crumble individually.

Sunoco, Lukoil, Getty, and Gulf dealers; had this legislation not passed, then you too would have had a gun put to your heads.  Thank your fellow Exxon and Shell friends for helping NJGCA pass this law.

Didn’t it annoy any of you 6 months ago that NJGCA members were in Trenton fighting to stop Below Cost Selling while others stood idly by waiting for you to win their battles for them?  We NEED more people to contribute.  Failing that, then a non-member who does nothing will reap the benefit of your participation in getting future initiatives passed.  We are very close to finally getting Right to Repair passed.  Shop owners that are not NJGCA members will benefit by your membership. That’s NOT fair and you should be as upset as I am. 

This is somewhat reflected in our current battle with official over the new Inspection Program.  I know you are upset and I have had endless phone call conversations to prove how ticked-off you are.  I am upset too.

I met with MVC, Parsons, and SGS officials on Monday to reiterate our objections.  I told them their stipulations were unreasonable, though I continue to hope that that an agreeable solution can be found. 

However, even as discussions persist, DO NOT sign up for the program until you have all the facts.

I know some of you are being pressured to sign up for the program now or risk being left behind.  Don’t fall for the rhetoric - you have until June 30th to decide.  If you sign up early, you may miss out on a solution if we are successful.

Nevertheless, if this process fails and authorities continue to be irrational in their expectations, I will have serious reservations about recommending your participation in the new Inspection Program.

As small business owners, we must continually weigh the merits of our decisions.  You must openly question what benefit you derive from participating in ANY program if you are being unjustifiably harmed by an additional burden.

If the worst case scenario emerges, be prepared to consider all of this before making your decision. 
Thanks for listening - See you next week!

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director


•BUSINESS FOR SALE: Looking for a new location?

•Take your inspector Refresher Course with NJGCA!

BUSINESS TOOLS: First Capital Mortgage (FCM)
•Looking to refinance your property?  Want to take advantage of today's low rates?

•Take advantage of this program and get recognized for your "green" credentials!

NJGCA in the News: Risalvato applauds passage of First Right of Refusal
•First retail bio-diesel pumps opened in South Jersey
•New Legislation: Credit card interest deductions considered
•Federal Right to Repair Act gets more support


Check out all of our MBPs and Programs designed to SAVE YOU MONEY!

Looking for something? Take a look at our list of useful links!

Find all our communications and search for old e-newsletters. Take a look!

Need to catch up on events?  Want to see what's going on?  Find out here!



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.


The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission has recently sent out a VID message to all Private Inspection Stations in state. 

All currently licensed Inspectors must complete an Inspector refresher course and pass a general knowledge exam with a grade of 80% or better to remain in the program.  If any test-taker answers 11 questions wrong, they will automatically fail.  A hands-on test for licensed Inspectors will not be required.

Inspectors will have until December 31, 2009 to take and pass the test.

NJGCA will be offering a refresher course sometime in the near future at two locations:

NJGCA Headquarters
66 Morris Ave.
Springfield, NJ 07081

NJGCA at Precision Auto Repair
1264 Hwy 35 South
Middletown, NJ 07748

If any PIFs are interested, please call our office to be put on the list.  All dates, times, and details will be released shortly.
Please call Debbie Hill at 973-376-0066 with any questions or concerns.

BUSINESS TOOLS: First Capital Mortgage (FCM)

Are you looking to refinance your property to take advantage of the new low rates available today? Are you thinking of increasing the assists of your business to improve your position in your market? FCM is a fully accredited authorized source for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and VA loans, as well as non-conforming and “niche” products. FCM works with a diverse pool of lenders. We select the best rates on the best products every day. FCM’s  high rate of success meeting client’s needs means that we can work on lower profit margins than banks and equals immediate and long term savings for you. Using technology-based services not found with most competitors, FCM sets new standards in mortgage lending. We offer fast turn around and the highest quality customer service. NJGCA Member only discounts applied.

Visit our website to learn more about our mortgage offerings or call today (908) 788-4002. Ask for Bill or Dana Maier to get you started on the road to savings and improving your bottom line.


You can also contact Phil Apruzzi with any further questions at 973-376-0066 x209.


NJGCA is participating in the NJ Green Automotive Repair Council along with AAA-NJ, 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.

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


NJGCA in the News: Risalvato applauds passage of First Right of Refusal
Executive Director Sal Risalvato recently penned an OpEd expressing his thoughts on the passage of First Right of Refusal.  Among other points, Sal thanked Governor Corzine for signing the bill and explained why this measure was necessary to protect lessee dealers from Big Oil.  Click above to read the full text and see what Sal had to say.

First retail bio-diesel pumps opened in South Jersey
An Exxon station in Pennsville Township has become the first gasoline retailer to sell bio-diesel fuel in South Jersey.  The station will dispense B5 bio-diesel fuel, which is strictly made from soy-based products.  Proponents state that bio-diesel has become the fastest growing alternative fuel in the United States.

New Legislation: Credit card interest deductions considered
A group of Trenton lawmakers in Trenton have proposed a bill that would allow people to deduct the interest on their credit cards when filing state income taxes.  Officials believe that writing off the interest on credit cards will not only help taxpayers, but will indirectly stimulate the state’s economy.

Federal Right to Repair Act gets more support
Seven additional members of Congress have signed on to support the federal Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act.  Known as HR 2057, the legislation now has 23 co-sponsors.  Proponents of the bill state the measure has become increasingly more important as motorist keep their vehicles longer and seek affordable repair work.


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