Road Warrior Newsletter

July 18, 2008


Dear NJGCA Member:

Small business owners are special people. Those that serve motorists are extra special.
Short term relief ahead??  Take advantage of it!!

Yes, I have heard from many of you that the stress at the pumps makes you consider ditching gasoline sales.  I understand your agony since I spent 23 years in your shoes.  I know the worries.  However, as far back as I can remember my colleagues and I always said we would get out of the business in one aspect or another.  Guess what?  Some did, but most did not.  Of those that stayed there are many who have struggled but still managed to get their kids through college.

Don’t subscribe to the “grass is greener on the other side”.  Every other small business struggles too.  You just aren’t aware of their struggle, you only know yours.   It is funny how many times over the years I had other small business owners tell me how lucky I was to be in the gasoline and auto repair business for one reason or another, yet they didn’t have a clue how difficult it was.

I always thought of them as lucky but soon realized that I too had no clue about their struggles.

I am happy that at least NJGCA is there as a life line for you.  NO!  I can’t provide all of your solutions, or make your decisions, but I can provide you with information and help your vision, and I can help run interference for you when legislators make dumb suggestions that will harm you.  You are not alone!

Gasoline demand is down enough that crude oil prices have started to decline.  Is it permanent?  That is doubtful.  But you must take advantage of the marketplace in the best manner possible.

Expect a decline in distributor prices in the days ahead.  Do not be the first to run to the street and lower your price.  It is stupid to do so!!!   Let me repeat that…STUPID!!!  Let the pump price take a slow ride downwards and grab an additional profit margin while you can.  Take advantage of it!

NJGCA has been working to create tools to help you gather market information.  We are close to completion of a matrix that will allow you to compare delivered prices of branded and unbranded gas in various geographic regions of the state.  This matrix will be available to NJGCA MEMBERS ONLY on our web site. We will however need help from NJGCA members to keep the matrix accurate and updated in a timely manner. Please consider making a commitment to volunteer for this effort.

Even before this feature of the web site is functional, we will be looking for volunteers to assist us in recording prices. Please contact us!

As we assist you, there is much you can do to assist yourself and fellow members.  We are aiming to strengthen the case against Below Cost Selling.  There have been instances where Predatory Pricing may have driven a retailer out of business.  Please identify closed up stations and contact us with their addresses so we can photograph and document them.  This will be helpful when we present our case to the Legislature.

I’m incredibly proud of the progress we have made at NJGCA over the last year.  But remember, part of what we do is support one another. When times are tough take note that you are not alone in this struggle; your fellow NJGCA members are in the same boat.  There is much we can do to help each other face the challenges ahead.

Please don’t lose sight that you have friends and associates you can turn to.  Are you confused about what to do next?  Do you have questions on what kind of strategy you should employ out there?  CALL ME.  I make myself available for you to discuss what obstacles you’re facing.  Let me help you if I can.

Thanks for reading.  See you next week!

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director



•Rutgers: Garden State in a recession til 2010
•Four-day work week becomes popular - again
•State’s cost cutting measures hurting auto parts retailers
•Opinion: State should budget like families do


Rutgers: Garden State in a recession til 2010
A recent report from Rutgers University states that New Jersey economy has been stagnant since 2007 and the economic climate will remain depressed for the next two years as job losses mount.

Four-day work week becomes popular - again
As the cost of motor fuel, food, and other staples rise, many local government and private workers are transitioning to a four-day work week to save commuting and overhead costs. 

State’s cost cutting measures hurting auto parts retailers
The recent budget signed by Governor Corzine has left many small, auto parts businesses upset.  In a cost saving move, the State will now purchase all of its auto-parts needed from AutoZone, cutting into the bottom line of retailers who held government parts contracts. 

Opinion: State should budget like families do
A recent opinion piece appeared in the Daily Record chastising state government for not “living within its means”.  The author states that state government has continually borrowed money in lieu of sound fiscal policy; and now taxpayers will be left holding the bag.


Serving the small businesses that serve the motorist