Road Warrior Newsletter

January 8, 2010


Dear NJGCA Member:

RIGHT TO REPAIR? Someone stabbed us in the back...I'm trying to determine who it was!
It Is Time to Start Thinking About the NORTHEAST 2010 Tradeshow March 19-21

I wish my first message of the year contained more positive info, but I have to deliver all the news good and bad.

It seems as if frustrations will continue regarding the implementation of the new Inspection Program.  In November, some big suits from the Motor Vehicle Commission and Parsons visited me here at NJGCA Headquarters.  Their mission was to bolster my confidence that the new program would be fully rolled out in the first week of February 2010.  I had reserved optimism with emphasis on the word reserved.

With my ear always to the ground and my eyes always open, I have not seen much evidence that the promises made to me by the big suits are still on schedule.  This week I began to make some noise and the suits are coming back to headquarters next week to re-assure me.  Wanna bet that they can’t deliver?

I don’t know where this is heading, but I will tell you that between the mess that exists in Trenton, and the incoming Governor, my gut tells me that we should be on the lookout for something drastic.

I have quietly shopped the idea of eliminating Parsons and the CIFs by utilizing an all PIF Inspection System over this past year with legislators. Recently I have been less subtle about this idea.  I made a presentation to the Christie Transition Team last month outlining exactly how to accomplish this.  Simply put-this will not be an easy lift.  I will keep you all informed.

However, my gut is still telling me that there are big changes coming.

A few weeks ago I asked for volunteers to document horrendous safety violations that you find by taking pictures of your customer’s vehicles.  I fear an attempt will be made to save the State of NJ millions of dollars by eliminating safety inspections.  I will need to use every ounce of documentation to prove to the new Governor and Legislature that public safety will be seriously jeopardized should safety be removed from the State Inspection Process.

I am sorry to be so blunt, but the response that I received from those of you willing to volunteer makes me want to puke!  GUYS…….I can’t come take the pictures in your shops myself!!!  How about a little help??? I will chalk your poor response up to the fact that you were all focused on the craziness of the upcoming Holiday.  Thanks to the few of you who did reply and volunteer.

Can we try this again?  Please reply if you will begin taking pictures of any vehicle that fails with serious safety problems.  I need pictures of seriously bad brakes, seriously bad tires and front ends etc..… get the picture! (no pun intended)

I had no intention of sending you communications over the Holiday unless there was urgent action that needed to be taken in order to get over the final hurdle with Right to Repair legislation.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t any need to contact you because at least one legislator deceived me.  I am not quite sure which one, but I have narrowed it down and I will smoke him/her out in the next few months.  Bottom line is that the monumental progress that we made was flushed down the toilet because the bill was refused a hearing in the Senate Commerce Committee.

I am discussing a new strategy and a new war plan to get this accomplished.  We do have one thing on our side…more consumers are lining up with us everyday because they are tired of being screwed at the car dealer.

OK…I want to discuss better stuff.

NORTHEAST 2010!!  NORTHEAST 2010!!!  NORTHEAST 2010!!  That’s right…keep saying it over and over.  Then mark your calendars…Gather your employees…AND BE THERE!  March 19-21 2010.

This year, we are evolving the show even further with new seminars and new vendors.  There will be professionals and suppliers from around the convenience store, motor fuel, and automotive repair industries bringing you the latest products and services to improve your business!

It will be an incredible event and I need you there to make it just as successful as last year!

Full details are coming, but again, please mark your calendars for March 19-21!  The event will be held at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus and promises to be even better than last year.

Remember Family Fun Day?  Last year’s Family Fun Day is going to be even better this year and you should make sure that all of your employees enjoy the fun with their kids too!

Also, if during the course of running your business you know of a vendor or supplier that you feel would be beneficial to NJGCA members and Tradeshow attendees, we want to know!  I pride myself on knowing a lot of people in this business, but even I don’t know everyone.  If you think someone you have done business with would be a reasonable participant at NORTHEAST 2010, please send me their contact information!

Lastly this week, Congressman Rush Holt is hosting a small business event to be held at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters (125 Symmes Road, Manalapan) from 9:00 am–11:00 am on Tuesday, January 19th.  This workshop is an “Access to Capital Workshop” for Central New Jersey residents and small businesses.  This event deals with small businesses and their need to access capital for business growth and expansion.  Speakers from the U.S. Small Business Administration and other federal and state agencies will be featured.  If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Matthew Hall at (609) 750-9365 or email Matt at with your attendance.

Thanks for listening - See you next week!

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director

 IN THIS WEEK’S NJGCA ROAD WARRIOR                                    

•Participate in the NJGCA PAC today and help us keep our Agenda rolling in Trenton!

•Sign up for classes aimed at improving your small business today!

•We can provide you with financing from $15,000 to $500,000 - SAVE WITH AEF!

•Governor-elect Christie gives out pink slips
•Governor-elect seeks to cut off aid to cities
•Independent dealers support Right to Repair
NJGCA in the News: Sal comments on 'Big Oil' vs. the 'Little Guys'

 ON THE NJGCA HOMEPAGE                                                           

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!

 KNOW YOUR TERRITORY MANAGER!                                           

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


Ensuring our friends in the legislature are re-elected and advocating for our agenda in Trenton are of utmost importance to the agenda of NJGCA.

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 the shoulders of a few.  This is not fair to them, and it is not fair to many of you who are relying on the benefits of good legislation being passed in Trenton.

To truly understand the importance of fundraising for our allies, let’s look back upon the overwhelming successes of the last year:

NJGCA successfully lobbied against BELOW COST SELLING. If approved, BELOW COST SELLING would have cost each of you thousands of dollars and put many of you out of businesses.  NJGCA leaned on some of our friends in the Assembly and literally had the bill pulled off the floor on the day it was scheduled to be voted on.  Our friends in the Legislature helped us get this accomplished.

NJGCA made history and led the charge to pass the most comprehensive protection of franchisees in decades with FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL legislation.  FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL passed only because NJGCA and dealers throughout the state were able to lean on several friends in the Assembly and the Senate.

NJGCA has been rallying support for RIGHT TO REPAIR over the last two years among key legislators.  This would end the practice of car manufacturers denying you the codes necessary to complete the repairs you make on your customers cars.  Every state has tried to pass RIGHT TO REPAIR and no state has even been able to get the legislation out of committee.   Because of our friends in the Legislature, NJGCA has been successful in getting this bill passed by the Assembly and now awaits a vote in the Senate.

I am asking some of you as individuals to make a contribution and attend a fundraising event sponsored by one of our friends in the Assembly.

However, we will not be able to host events for all of our friends, so the NJGCA PAC will have to make contributions.  You will be receiving letters soon from the NJGCA PAC asking you to make contributions. 

If every member contributes just $100.00 we will be able to provide the help necessary to ensure victory for our allies.

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.


Affinity Federal Credit Union, an NJGCA Member Benefit Partner, is offering a number of classes designed specifically to help small business owners.

Some of these classes include:

•Managing Money Wisely
•Career Navigation in a Pink Slip Economy.
•Kean University Small Business Counseling Sessions
•Entrepreneur Certificate Program (ECP)
•Accounting and QuickBooks Certificate
•Small Business Seminars

•And much more!

Take advantage of this opportunity!  Click HERE to visit the Calendar of Events on the Affinity homepage and sign up for a class!

Pleas contact Phil Apruzzi with any questions or comments at 973-376-0066. 


AEF will work with you to finance used and new equipment for your Gas Station, C-Store & Car Wash. 

We can provide you with financing from $15,000 to $500,000. AEF has flexible terms from 12-84 months. AEF can assist you in the following areas: Underground Tanks-Construction-Excavation-Installation, Dispensers/Pumps, Canopies, CardSystems, Vapor Recovery Systems, Coffee Machines, Showcases Refrigeration, Signage, POS Systems, Tunnels, Vacuums, Water Systems, Polishing–In-Bay, and Self Serve.

American Equipment Finance will save your business time, money and taxes.

Our finance associates can help you select the right lease or finance structure for your company’s needs. Credit decisions are usually provided in 24 hours.

NJGCA Members ONLY discounts applied.

Contact Len Baccaro at (908) 542-9330 or email him at 


Governor-elect Christie gives out pink slips
Top level political appointees from the Corzine administration were given pink slips on Thursday as New Jersey prepares to swear in its new Governor on January 19th.  Christie Administration officials did not reveal how many individuals were let go.

Governor-elect seeks to cut off aid to cities
In a move aimed to save money and close a multi-billion budget deficit, Governor-elect Christie has announced that he will slash state aid to cities.  Christie stated that cities needed to live within their means and not rely on Trenton to balance their budgets. 

Independent dealers support Right to Repair
As the debate rages on in Congress, the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) pledged its support for the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act.  Unlike franchised dealers, many independent dealerships feel as though they face many of the same issues small business repair shops in fixing their clients’ vehicles.

NJGCA in the News: Sal comments on 'Big Oil' vs. the 'Little Guys'
A recent report from outlines the problems major oil companies are having in divesting their locations throughout the country.  As these locations are sold in bundles to large distributors, many small business owners are feeling the squeeze as their new landlord jacks up the prices.  Click above to see what Sal had to say about how small businesses are being affected by the sell-off.



Serving the small businesses that serve the motorist