Road Warrior Newsletter

September 11, 2009


Dear NJGCA Member:


If you have been in the gasoline retail business long enough, you start to catch onto trends and movement in the market.  As a small business owner who reads daily business reports, news articles, and your own delivery invoices, you begin to get a sense of what is coming around the corner.

In reviewing today’s marketplace, we see that prices have increased and decreased minimally over the past few months, but have remained relatively stable with average pricing around $2.50 a gallon.

How do we explain this?  Taking a look at industry reports, inventories of crude oil, gasoline, and diesel fuel have remained steady and demand has been relatively flat.  These two factors, along with no-demand increases from the public during the summer season, have kept prices in check.

Adding to this situation is the overall condition of the economy.  People are nervous and saving their money.  You only need to look at this year’s Labor Day weekend to see how people are cutting back on travel expenses to make ends meet.

As always, unless there is a major spike in demand or a decline in oil production, I predict that prices will remain relatively stable for the rest of the year.

What does this mean for you?  It means that the lost volume you are experiencing isn’t from you losing business to a competitor down the road.  It means that the overall market is down and demand is waning for everyone.  Keep this in mind as you plan ahead!

On Wednesday, I attended the Annual Weights and Measures Conference in Trenton.  Having been invited to speak at this event for the past few years, I can tell you first hand that these professionals have great respect for NJGCA and our Members. In fact, they have gone out of their way to tell me that NJGCA members tend to better informed and in compliance far more often than non-members.  This alone is proof that membership has its merits – and keeps you from having to pay excessive fines!

More importantly, I need to Thank You for helping to make this possible.  Your valuable tips have lead to a number of cases being turned over to authorities, ending with deceitful retailers being punished.  This has not only helped keep your competitors honest, but has helped build a solid relationship with Weights and Measures.  We can only maintain and grow that good will when we police our own industry and point out dishonest behavior.

A good example of this is illustrated in a recent story that appeared in the Bergen Record.  Brake-O-Rama, a Lodi-based auto repair chain, has been sued by state officials for billing customers for work that was never performed.  What’s worse, some of the chain’s locations didn’t have the equipment necessary to do repairs it had charged customers for, such as vehicle inspection services and power-steering purges.

You can read the full article by clicking HERE

In their accusations, the Division of Consumer Affairs has presented proof that not only had Brake-O-Rama mislead and overcharged their customers, but they had interfered with the state’s investigation of these allegations.  Talk about a bad move!

Sadly, this is an offense that harms the entire industry.  After years of combating negative stigmas and stereotypes, these incidents will further harm the way the public sees you.  You only have to look at the CBS 60 Minutes special 20 years ago exposing dishonest behavior in the repair industry to see how the public can get riled up over just a few bad apples running it for the rest of us.

This is a nightmare scenario that you NEVER want to find yourself in.  Yet it speaks volumes about the continued need to police our own industry and expose deceitful small business owners.

Why should a few crooks that knowingly harm the public be put in a position to hurt YOU?  It is far better to work with the professionals at Weights and Measures or Consumer Affairs to turn in these characters than suffer public fallout for something that was never your fault.

It is important to project a positive image of the gasoline retail and automotive repair business; but ultimately that responsibility falls to YOU and how you conduct business!

Lastly this week, we’d like to acknowledge the special significance of our newsletter being delivered to you on September 11th.  Many of us recall those horrific events eight-years ago very vividly.  We hope you will take a moment to remember those who perished that day and pay tribute to their memory.

Thanks for listening - See you next week!

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director


•Save money on Fill Cap Stencils with this great offer from E.O. Habhegger, Inc!

MBP BUSINESS SEMINAR: Affinity Employment Law Updates!

•Learn about important changes in business law at this informative seminar!

•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!

•Get Computer Networking and Accounting Program Solutions at GREAT SAVINGS!

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

•Federal new jobless claims fall more than expected
•Healthcare ‘town-halls’ continue to draw huge crowds, concerns
•Rutgers awarded funds to study clean energy
•New Jersey intersections to get red-light cameras


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


NJGCA has worked out an agreement with E.O. Habhegger, Inc to provide universal fill-cap stencils at a reduced price for all Members.

This month long special will last through September. 

The stencils are offered in plastic and durable steel; both are re-useable.

Product Name                List Price                     September Sale Price for NJGCA Members   
RM-Template-P                $87.50                                               $78.75
RM-Template-S                $120.00                                             $108.00

Additionally, E.O. Habhegger also has fill pipe tags available that can be purchased to be placed around the fill ports for additional protection. These run only about $10.00, per tag.

If anyone would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please contact Patrick Coan at 215.313.7358 to place an order. 

For any additional questions or concerns, please call Debbie Hill. 
MBP BUSINESS SEMINAR: Affinity Employment Law Updates!

You and your colleagues are invited to attend Affinity's complimentary seminar!

2009 Employment Law Updates

•The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
•American's with Disabilities Act
Immigration and Labor Regulations
ERISA Litigation
•Employee Handbooks

Tuesday, September 22nd: Affinity Federal Credit Union Headquarters, 9:00 am - 11:30 am*

Mountain View Corporate Center
73 Mountain View Boulevard
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Click HERE for directions

*Continental Breakfast: 9:00-9:30

SEATING IS LIMITED!!  RSVP Required by September 17th.

Contact Robin Busch at 800-325-0808, ext. 3879, or

This seminar is pending approval for recertification credits through the Human Resource Certification Institute

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 five evenings and one afternoon:

NJGCA Headquarters
66 Morris Ave.
Springfield, NJ 07081         
September: 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, and 24

Bob's Precision Auto Repair
1264 Hwy 35 South
Middletown, NJ 07748
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!!

Computer Networking and Accounting Program Solutions

With experience since 1972 in the auto repair, gasoline, and convenience store industries, ABLE-TECH provides business owners specialized tools for better business management and control.

Our offerings include:

• Industry-specific business consulting with a special focus on theft analysis,
• Inventory Control, and sales Strategy,
• Computer Systems and Services,
• Bookkeeping software that integrates all profit centers, with interfaces for most electronic cash registers.
• Video surveillance systems that watch (and listen too) your business when you’re not there.

Don’t hesitate to call! NJGCA Members will be eligible for discounts.

Contact Dan Goff at (800) 231-9969, email: or Phil Apruzzi at 973-376-0066, email:


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


Federal new jobless claims fall more than expected
Federal Department of Labor has stated that the initial claims for unemployment insurance has fallen more than expected last week, to 550,000 people.  The total number of unemployed people is nearly 6.1 million, the lowest level since early April.

Healthcare ‘town-halls’ continue to draw huge crowds, concerns
A record number of people are continuing to attend town hall meetings to voice their concerns over healthcare reform.  Many individuals, including small business owners, maintain that government run healthcare will negatively impact the quality of medical services.

Rutgers awarded funds to study clean energy
Three federal grants totaling $7.65 million have been awarded to Rutgers University to fund graduate research in clean and sustainable energy.  The grants are funded through the National Science Foundation, and Rutgers is one of only a handful of universities to have received a grant.

New Jersey intersections to get red-light cameras
A growing number of Garden State municipalities will soon install red-light camera.  Since November of 2008, the New Jersey Department of Transportation has given permission to 22 towns to install the devices, with more seeking approval.  The cameras are designed to capture offending vehicles.  The first installation will be complete by the end of September.


Serving the small businesses that serve the motorist