Road Warrior Newsletter

July 17, 2009


Dear NJGCA Member:

ABC Documentary - Over the Barrel: The Truth About Oil

Everyone has heard the expression “Don’t believe everything you read” for good reason.  Reporters, though very well intentioned, sometimes aren’t aware of the full-facts when writing an article or covering a story.  Sadly, this often leads to reports that are not fully representative of how things work in our industry.

For the last two years, I have done my best to educate the press as a means to avoid this very real situation.  Why?  Because, unfortunately, the public perception of gasoline retailers, convenience store owners, and auto-repair shops hasn’t always been rosy.  You and I have to change that.

It is for this reason that I agreed to film a special called “Over the Barrel: The Truth About Oil” with ABC News personality, Charlie Gibson.  This documentary special will air on ABC next Wednesday, July 22nd at 10pm.

Before agreeing to be interviewed, I made it very clear that I would need more than a few moments with Charlie and the producers to fully explain how the motor fuel industry works.  I saw this as an important opportunity to present our perspective to viewers and, hopefully, begin to change those negative perceptions with the public.

For that reason, I presented them with several diagrams that outline the various scenarios in which gasoline arrives at the local service station.  This included everything from corporate-owned stations to franchised dealers to owner-operated locations – and everything in between.

You can view these diagrams by clicking HERE

I went through this exercise for a very specific reason: After more than 100 years serving motorists; the public (and the media) STILL do no understand just how this industry works or how small business owners like YOU fit in the overall picture.  They continue to believe that since you sell Exxon, Shell, or Sunoco gas, you work directly for those mega-corporations and are raking in the dough.  This just isn’t true and it continually needs to be clarified.

I did my best to outline all of this in my on-camera discussion with Charlie Gibson.  It was my goal to not only explain the true diversity in the motor fuel market, but also illustrate the hardships that each of you face on a daily basis.

We spent two days filming this piece in North Jersey.  In addition, NJGCA Members Bill Fagan of Prestige Petroleum and Dennis Hios of Elmwood Certified Auto Service were also included in the documentary.  They are both small business owners and I’d like to thank them for their participation as well.

It is my sincerest hope that each of you will tune in next Wednesday night to watch the program.  I do not know how they have edited the final broadcast or how much I will be in the program.  It could be for a few seconds or a few minutes.  I also don’t know what final ‘conclusions’ the program will draw.  However, I expect that much of the information and materials I gave to ABC will be included.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to see the documentary when it airs.  Yes, even small business zealots like me need a few days off, and I will be in Niagara Falls for a previously planned vacation.  I guess that’s why VCRs were invented.  Nevertheless, I’m looking for your feedback and comments when I return.

As the inspection debacle continues to unfold, I have begun meeting with Legislators on how the inspection program may proceed after the new Parsons contract expires.  It is my hope to plant the seeds for a possible full private inspection system here in New Jersey.  This would not only eliminate the CIF lanes, but hopefully prevent this entire fiasco from being repeated a few years form now.  I am trying to demonstrate to lawmakers, that the State can save $12-56 million a year if they follow my suggestions.

Recently, NJGCA Member John Pappalardo of Fort Lee accompanied me on a meeting with Assemblywoman Joan Voss.  John knows the Assemblywoman well and he helped bring some personal insight to our discussions.  After she toured John’s shop she understood the facts that I presented her with much easier.  It was a productive meeting and John’s participation was very valuable.

Once again I am asking if any of you have a similar relationship with a Legislator, please contact me.  I’d very much like to have you accompany me when I visit legislators in their district office.

Thanks for listening - See you next week!

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director


•Take your inspector Refresher Course with NJGCA!  Dates and times below!

BUSINESS TOOLS: Great Savings for NJGCA Members!
•Want to SAVE MORE money on your business expenses?  Take advantage of our MBPs!

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!

•Stimulus-funded road projects get underway in New Jersey
•Unemployment rate reaches 32-year high
•Healthcare group fears more uninsured residents in 2010
•Public employee health insurance rates to increase next year


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!


Henry Darden: Territory Manager for Middlesex, Union, Part of Essex (Southern Half)
Cell: 908-247-2992

Jack Leli: Territory Manager for Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean, Salem
Cell: 732-995-1637

Bob Quirk: Territory Manager for Bergen, Hudson, Part of Essex (Northern Half)
Cell: 201-214-8836

Frank Stewart: Territory Manager for Morris, Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, Passaic
Cell: 973-234-7403
Don Stohrer: Territory Manager for Monmouth, Mercer, Somerset

Cell: 732-539-2955

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.

Current Licensed Emission Inspectors only need the “Re-Fresher Course” and the “Written Exam”.  New Emission Inspectors will be given a “Hands On” test separately at your place of employment by the State of New Jersey. 

NJGCA will be offering refresher courses at the following two locations.  Classes will take place over six evenings:

NJGCA Headquarters
66 Morris Ave.
Springfield, NJ 07081
July: 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, and 30                
September: 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, and 24

Bob's Precision Auto Repair
1264 Hwy 35 South
Middletown, NJ 07748
August: 11, 13, 18, 20, 25 and 27
October: 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, and 22

NJGCA Members Cost - $349.00  
Non-Members Cost - $489.00

Manuals are included in the prices above and payment is due upon registration.  All classes are 6:45 pm to 10:00 pm; the “Written Exam” will be given on the last day at 12:00pm at NJGCA Headquarters in Springfield, NJ.

If you are interested, please contact our office to enroll in a class.
Please contact Debbie Hill at 973-376-0066 with any questions.

BUSINESS TOOLS: Great Savings for NJGCA Members!

In a difficult economy, EVERYONE wants to SAVE as much as possible! 

Luckily NJGCA has just what you need to save you a bundle!!

Take a look at the list below for some of our MBP products and services – And start saving TODAY!
Garage Liability Insurance: Get great coverage and earn a dividend for qualified location.  Also offering your employees discounts insurance products (home, auto, etc).
Workmen's Compensation Coverage: Save 5-15% upfront AND year end dividends!
Blue Cross/Blue Shield: Get excellent health insurance coverage at Association rates! Customize your healthcare and save even more!
Credit Card Processing: Reduce your costs by 15-30% today!  And best of all, you probably don't have to move or change processors!

Commercial and Personal lending specialists
Equipment and Acquisition Financing
Collection Agency Services at discounted rates
Credit Restoration Services
Phone Service 20-30% lower than Verizon or AT&T
Computer and Office Supplies
Industry Specific Business Consulting
Environmental Remediation, Testing and Consulting
Pump and Tank Contractors to stay in state compliance
Service Station Supply Contractors, include Bulk Oil
Automotive Tools, Scanners, Shop Equipment, Lifts at great prices
Coin Operated Air/Vacuum Machines - Installed Completely Free


All Quotes are FREE - BUT ONLY NJGCA MEMBERS can partake in the Savings.

Call Phil Apruzzi at 973-376-0066 to get quotes on all these MBP services and start saving today!!

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


Stimulus-funded road projects get underway in New Jersey
The state’s largest highway project, funded by the federal economic stimulus package, began this week on I-295 in Barrington.  A three-year, multi-million dollar repaving and rebuilding project in Camden and Gloucester, the project is expected to be a first of many similar projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Unemployment rate reaches 32-year high
New Jersey’s unemployment rate reached a record high 9.2% in June – the highest level in 32 years – continuing 17 month straight drop in jobs.  However, the total number of job cuts appears to have eased even as the economy struggles to recover.

Healthcare group fears more uninsured residents in 2010
Two healthcare groups warned lawmakers in Washington, D.C. that the number of uninsured residents in New Jersey was expected to climb by more than 200,000 residents next year.  The groups cite job losses, higher health insurance premiums, and a faltering economy as a principle reason for these statistics.

Public employee health insurance rates to increase next year
Health insurance rates for public employees will increase as much as 25 percent next year -- a mark-up even worse than expected.  For next year, health care is projected to cost $1.78 billion for state workers and retirees, $856 million for local employees, and $1.84 billion for school districts.


Serving the small businesses that serve the motorist