November 30, 2012
Dear NJGCA Member:
Thank you for reading this week's NJGCA Road Warrior!
Here is what you will find in this edition:
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE: GREETINGS & SAL-UTATIONS!
•Price Gouging Aftermath, Generator Mandate, Internet Lottery Sales, and More!!
BUSINESSES FOR SALE!
•Looking for a new opportunity? Businesses for sale below!
•Do YOU have equipment for sale or are you looking for a new employee?!
NEWS AROUND THE STATE
•Senate approves minimum wage hike
•State Senate pushes towns to merge services or face consequences
•NJGCA in the News: Selling lottery tickets online will hurt N.J. small businesses
•New Jersey gasoline terminals will feel effects of Sandy for months to come
A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM BELLOMO FUELS
•Serving New Jersey since 1910 -- Over 100 years of supplying gasoline to service station retailers like YOU!
TRAINING CLASS SCHEDULE
•Interested in taking a class? See below!
MEET THE FOLKS AT LIBERTY GAS
•Looking for a new brand for your station? Take a look at the opportunity below!
MEMBER BENEFIT PARTNER MESSAGE
•TMP Energy Solutions: Another Way to Save On Your Energy Bills!
ENVIRONMENTAL INNOVATIONS FOR SERVICE STATIONS
•A special message from Prestige Environmental!
POLITICAL PARTICIPATON: THE NJGCA PAC
•Participate in the NJGCA PAC today and help us keep our Agenda rolling in Trenton!
THE MEMBER TOOL BOX
•On the NJGCA Homepage
JOIN NJGCA ON FACEBOOK -- CLICK HERE
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE: GREETINGS & SAL-UTATIONS!
PRICE GOUGING AFTERMATH
ISSUE OVERLOAD: MANDATED GENERATORS,
INTERNET LOTTERY, MOTOR VEHICLE INSPECTIONS
BE READY TO HEAD TO TRENTON!
This week’s Road Warrior is packed with information, so please read the entire message!
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Team NJGCA has been working to help members who received subpoenas for price gouging. Dealing with this issue has been a priority for us, and since it had to be done properly, it’s taken up a lot of our time. Thankfully, it seems our efforts will pay off, as most members who received subpoenas didn’t actually gouge anyone. With our help they will walk away unscathed and put the incident behind them.
A handful of others, however, have seriously disappointed me because, despite our repeated communications during Hurricane Sandy, they did engage in price gouging! I’m so frustrated with this small group of nitwits, I seriously considered taking a plunge off the Driscoll Bridge on the way home one night. Listen, these members are very nice guys, but I say nitwits out of frustration because their violations would have been avoided if they just read my emails!! Oh, they promise that they will read them now...but the toothpaste is out of the tube and I don’t know how to put it back in.
To say that it is an embarrassment to our organization – and to all our honest members – would be an understatement. I’ve said repeatedly that I have no sympathy for members who knowingly break laws or hurt the public good. My attitude hasn’t changed and the state will rightfully slap them for their infractions. I am hoping to get some leniency for these guys but I can’t make any promises. To think I was bragging to reporters and officials that NJGCA members would not be caught up in this. I feel like a parent whose kid got in trouble at school.
The entire episode is a shame since all they needed to do was read our communications. If they had, they would have read our warnings and wouldn’t be in hot water. Since they’ve been slapped with violations, they’ve now promised to read everything we send from hereon out, but like I just stated the horse is already out of the barn and it’s too late to fix what’s broken.
Their misfortune, however, still serves some purpose in illustrating what happens when we don’t heed such warnings. The lesson? Read what we send you and don’t put it off -- especially when an emergency or crisis is at hand. As these members have foolishly demonstrated, ignoring what we send you can directly result in getting needlessly fined by the state.
Speaking of price gouging, I’d like to remind you that the State of Emergency is still in effect and all gouging prohibitions will continue up to 30 days after emergency is rescinded. As of this writing, the rescission order hasn’t been signed, so technically you must continue to observe the gouging laws. It may seem like overkill, but if I were you, I’d err on the side of caution to avoid a fine. We will update you more on this issue next week, but until then, stay sharp! I learned something today with regard to previous revocations of Governor Christie’s Declarations of Emergency, and I hope to share it with you next week.
There have been a number of important issues bubbling to the surface that need your attention.
The call to mandate generators at gasoline retail locations is getting louder. There are a few different bills being debated, but all of them would require you to purchase a pricey generator in case another storm or emergency emerges. Having a generator is a good idea and makes a lot of sense. However, every business owners’ situation is unique and NJGCA has opposed the proposals we’ve read thus far.
Looking back at the post-Sandy crisis, you have to question what good a mandated generator would have done. Yes, many of our members had gas in the ground but no power. In such an incident, a mandated generator would’ve been a great resource. But for the majority of stations out there, the problem was gasoline inventory, not electrical power. In such a scenario, you could’ve had a small nuclear reactor at your site and it wouldn’t have made any difference without gasoline to sell to the public! In order for any legislation to be effective (and not just political feel good legislation), the issue of fuel logistics and transportation during such an emergencies must be addressed. Thankfully, Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean have also drawn this conclusion. For the moment at least, any bill that doesn’t take the fuel/emergency problem into account will not gain their support.
This week I asked the staff here to do some intense research regarding these generators. Incredibly and coincidentally I have received calls from 4 different vendors looking to get their foot in the door should this law pass, as they want to sell you their products. In fact I learned just yesterday that there are training classes being set up quickly for electrical contractors to attend and learn about how to market, sell, and install these generators. PLEASE DO NOT SIGN ON WITH ANYONE WITHOUT SPEAKING TO ME FIRST!!! I am working on getting the proposed legislation turned in to an incentive package for those of you who CHOOSE to install generators. My research shows that minimum costs will range from $10,000 up to $30,000. Stay tuned! This fight is far from over.
Also this week, outsourcing the State Lottery has also gained a lot of attention. The current idea would have the state outsource lottery sales to a third-party, which at first blush doesn’t seem like all that big a deal. However, our information has indicated that this would be only a first step toward eventually permitting the third-party to conduct internet-lottery sales. The new contractor, as a private enterprise, will be highly motivated to increase revenues and therefore their profits.
As you know, anything that shifts customer traffic from your establishment to the internet will rob you of business-sustaining profits. The threat is real and we cannot allow that to happen. Don’t believe me? CLICK HERE to watch a clip from yesterday’s news. In this segment, I state what the interviewed customers plainly tell the news crew: When purchasing lottery tickets, customers also buy profitable products like sandwiches, soda, et al. Once you dis-incentivize them to patronize your shop, your bottom line will crash.
Want further proof? Just look at the hoopla surround this week’s Powerball drawing! The HALF-BILLION DOLLAR payday created all kinds of traffic at stores, and along the way, customers also bought goodies of all kinds to boost the entrepreneur’s business. In New Jersey alone, lottery sales generated $15 million in ticket sales, with $750,000 in commissions paid out to store owners. And that didn’t include whatever extra products patrons bought on the way out the door!
Next Wednesday I will be testifying against the bill in Trenton. A Wildfire Alert will be sent out to you notifying you of the details, but the bottom line is this: If you sell lottery tickets at your location, WE NEED YOU IN TRENTON. That’s right -- I need your support in order to convince legislators this bill is bad business.
The state inspection program was in the spotlight this week as a new report by state auditors says New Jersey actually did NOT save the amount of money they originally projected after the elimination of safety inspections. You’ll recall that Trenton revised the program two years ago in order to save money. We were vocally against the idea and offered a competing plan to save even more money. Unfortunately, our plan was ultimately rejected, leaving many of our members angry and disgruntled.
I haven’t responded to the situation yet and I’m still mulling over how to handle the news. One part of me is irritated, while the other part of me is acting uncharacteristically restrained. Of course, if I had my druthers, I’d publically scream “I told you so” at the top of lungs --- but I know better than that. The only thing missing from the report are the actual words “Governor Christie should have listened to Sal because he was RIGHT!” Being this right is bittersweet because elimination of safety inspections has been a hurtful blow to all of your shops. “I told you so” won’t fix the problem.
Interestingly, the auditor’s report also stated that the state should move to an all private inspection program – which I also advocated for before the Zimmer Commission two years ago. However, don’t get your hopes up yet; any move to an all private inspection program, is unlikely to resuscitate safety inspections. Rather, any new program will likely focus solely on fiscal savings.
MVC Chief Administrator Ray Martinez contacted me several weeks ago to meet with him in January, but all of the chaos surrounding the hurricane have kept me from setting a date for the meeting. I expect we will actually meet in January. I’ll have more to report then, but wanted to make you aware of what was going on.
The plan to increase the minimum wage continues to move forward in Trenton. We’ve opposed the idea and have gone on the record submitting testimony against the bill earlier this month. You can read what I submitted by CLICKING HERE, but be aware that we may need to marshal our forces in Trenton to speak out against the bill. This isn’t going away --- so be ready to act when I call!
Thanks for reading – See you next week!
BUSINESSES FOR SALE!
Click on the picture below to see more details!
CLASSIFIEDS: FOR SALE & HELP WANTED!
After running an ad in the Road Warrior over the last month, NJGCA was able to assist a member in selling his equipment!
If you'd like to list equipment for sale, or have an open position you'd like to make other industry professionals aware of, please contact NJGCA at 973-376 -0066 and let us help you get the word out!
NEWS AROUND THE STATE: THE NEWS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Senate approves minimum wage hike
This week, the State Senate approved a bill raising New Jersey’s minimum wage to $8.50 an hour, including a yearly cost of living adjustment. The legislation must still go to the General Assembly for approval, but faces the possibility of being vetoed by Governor Christie, who has publically stated he is not in favor of any plan to include cost of living adjustments. Click above to read more.
State Senate pushes towns to merge services or face consequences
On Thursday, the NJ State Senate passed a measure which would punish municipalities that refused to share services with neighboring towns. If eventually passed, the law would allow state officials to outline which towns could save tax dollars by combining services with neighboring towns. If the local towns refuse to share such services, then funds to those towns would be cut. The plan is seen as both necessary and controversial as state officials attempt to reign in the cost of local government. Click above to read the full article.
NJGCA in the News: Selling lottery tickets online will hurt N.J. small businesses
Executive Director Sal Risalvato penned an opinion piece outlining why online lottery ticket sales will harm small business owners who depend on the customer traffic lottery sales produce. Click above to read the full editorial.
New Jersey gasoline terminals will feel effects of Sandy for months to come
Though gasoline deliveries and fuel inventories are back to normal after Hurricane Sandy, the effects the storm had on gasoline terminals will continue to be felt for many months. That’s because many of the state’s terminals still have electronic, physical, and logistical damage that is hampering daily operations. See the full article above for details on how distribution terminals are trying to repair these problems while keeping fuel moving to gasoline retail locations.
-ALL CLASSES WILL BE HELD AT NJGCA HEADQUARTERS-
66 Morris Avenue - Springfield, NJ 07081 (Union County)
INTERESTED IN TAKING A CLASS WITH NJGCA?
CALL AND WE'LL SET IT UP FOR YOU!
PLEASE NOTE: FUTURE DATES WILL BE ADDED UPON REQUEST AND ACCORDING TO DEMAND. CONTACT DEBBIE at 973-376-0066 or DEBBIE@NJGCA.ORG TO LET HER KNOW YOU ARE INTERESTED IN TAKING A SPECIFIC CLASS. THIS WILL ALLOW US TO GAUGE YOUR NEEDS AND KEEP TRACK OF THOSE WISHING TO PARTICIPATE!!
MEMBER BENEFIT PARTNER MESSAGE
TMP Energy Solutions
Another Way to Save on Your Energy Bills
We have had a number of NJGCA members successfully reduce their rate per kWh signing up through our energy saving program. We know it’s difficult to collect 12 months worth of previous electric bills to get an “accurate” analysis when comparing a variable rate to a fixed rate, but we now have another option available.
This new solution is a power purchase option; the other program is still in full force and has saved members thousands of dollars. If you sign up for the power purchase option, you will be grouped with other NJGCA members until the minimum KW demand is acquired. By pooling the member’s usage together, you will be able to take advantage, as large energy users do, and receive a lower kWh rate.
Each member will receive their own contract. Each member is responsible to sign and return the agreement the day it is received in order to secure the price for their group.
Please do your due diligence, so when you receive the proposal and the agreement you will be able to make an intelligent decision.
If by chance, you still want us to assess you bills, to give you a price to compare, we will require12 months of your most recent utility bills.
There are no bills required, but we would still like to have one bill per meter on file to check account #’s, meter #’s service addresses and other pertinent information incase there is a problem.
The term of the agreement is for 12 months. During this term period, you will have price protection against any energy price increases along with a low fixed kWh rate.
If you are interested in becoming part of this power purchase option, please contact Greg Cannon at the NJGCA.
Remember when you sign up your energy through the NJGCA Energy Program, TMP makes a considerable donation to the NJGCA Scholarship Fund through their proceeds. This has no affect on your rate, and costs you nothing out of pocket.
We hope to help hundreds of NJGCA members reduce their utility costs by participating in this and our other cost reduction programs. Our purpose, in the endeavor, is to help NJGCA members lower their energy costs while supporting the NJGCA Scholarship Fund.
Contact GREG CANNON at 973-376-0066 or email Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mention that you are interested in saving money on your energy bills. NJGCA & TMP Energy Solutions will handle all the rest.
POLITICAL PARTICIPATON: THE NJGCA PAC
DEFENDING OUR MEMBERS.
PROTECTING YOUR INTERESTS.
ANSWER THE CALL & CONTRIBUTE TODAY!!
Promoting our agenda in Trenton is of utmost importance to NJGCA and our members.
However, in order to truly affect the debate, we must ensure our friends in the Legislature are re-elected. It is for this reason that your Association has established the NJGCA PAC.
For too long, the weight of funding our Political Action Committee, the arm of the Association responsible for political donations, has rested upon a few. This is not only unfair to those few members who have shouldered this burden, but means we are not utilizing our full strength to affect the debate in Trenton.
To truly understand the importance of supporting our allies, consider our successes in Trenton:
We defeated BELOW COST SELLING
We made history in getting FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL signed into law!
We have built large support for RIGHT TO REPAIR and got it passed out of the Assembly
We defended your small business against the false accusations of Attorney General Anne Milgram
We gained wide support to move New Jersey to an all PIF Inspection System and close the CIF lanes
...and MUCH MORE!!
In each instance, we achieved these goals with the help of our friends in the Legislature!
If every member contributes just $100.00 we will be able to provide the help necessary to ensure victory for our allies.
PLEASE SEND YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS TO:
66 Morris Avenue
Springfield, NJ 07081
Please make your donation payable to NJGCA PAC
I understand that times are tough for all NJGCA members, but this is just as important as any battle we have fought in the past.
We have made great progress in Trenton. I hope that you will answer the call.
THE MEMBER TOOL BOX
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NEWS AROUND THE STATE ARCHIVE
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