April 20, 2020
NJGCA April 20th
Coronavirus Shutdown Update
Loan/Grant Update and Messages to Congress
We’ve had many members contact us because of frustration either getting a bank willing to process their loan and/or funds no longer being available. If you have been following the news for the last week, federal government anticipated these funds running out and are currently trying to authorize $250B more, but the debate has turned partisan whereas the original PPP legislation was unanimous. Each side is choosing to play politics when it comes to receiving relief for your business.
In your update emails, there have been a few of you that have reported some success and attributed some of it to the assistance from NJGCA staff. We appreciate that you have sent us notes of thanks. It also seems like a number of you have had success working with the two MBPs that we directed you to call at Kearny Bank and Heartland Payroll. We continue to thank them for their hard work helping our members and ask that if you use one of our MBPs to process your application, please let us know.
Thank you to those of you who sent messages to Congress. We are impressed with those of you that are following our instructions when we send a request to contact your legislator. We may ask you to do this again. It is quite apparent that many of you are frustrated with the lack of funding available to you, please continue to make your voices heard in Washington. You can participate in that advocacy effort if you have not done so yet by clicking HERE.
Your Survey Responses
We also sent out a survey link for you to send us updates on your businesses, thank you to those of you who took the time to send us those updates. If you have not completed this yet please take a minute to do so HERE. We know we have asked a lot from you, but this is a quickly changing situation. Unless we ask, we don't know what our members' situations are and how they are changing. We are constantly being asked for this information. Those of you that returned the surveys the results are very telling. We have seen updates from at least 14 members that have received the NJ EDA grant. That is one big accomplishment because funds were completely gone in 30 minutes. We are happy the instruction that we gave to people to be on the computer at 9 AM was followed. It seems like there was some success. There were only about 2,000 grants available and over 30,000 applied on the first day alone.
White House Plan to Reopen Economy
The Trump administration recently released the White House plan for reopening the economy. This obviously is determined by several factors including a downward trajectory of coronavirus cases and the ability for hospitals to treat the patients they have. Employers will continue sanitation processes at the same level as at the height of the virus and we will all continue to wear PPE. There may also be a system of temperature checks and more widespread testing before reporting for work or even for customers to be able to enter your businesses. You can read more about the different phases the federal government will take to re-open the economy HERE.
Self-Serve in the Media
We have had a good few days in the press with the issue of self-serve and how this pandemic is affecting our industry. A special thanks to a few members who helped the cause by speaking to the media about this issue:
Kaptan Guleria and Sal Risalvato speak to New Jersey News 12
Kashmir Gill and Sal Risalvato speak to NJTV News
Tim Arata speaks to Bergen Record
In the Bergen Record exchange, the reporter was even able to capture an exchange of a customer not accepting their change after a transaction. These are the interactions that we need to know about and we need to you to continue to report to us! Please email Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org with any updates you may have.
Vape Flavor Ban
A final reminder that the ban on flavored vapes go into effect today. We have mentioned this several times previously and we did have several members contact us saying they had heard a rumor that the deadline would be pushed back. We doubled down our efforts to look into this and one of our other coalition partners checked with their members and apparently they had heard similar rumors as well. We went back to the Division of Taxation to see if there was any consideration since the deadline was upon us. They assured us the deadline was still on and must be complied with. There will be no extensions. As a result, make sure these products are not for sale on your shelves as of today.
Trinity Solar Special Offer for NJGCA Members
I know many of you are dealing with huge issues stemming from the current coronavirus crisis. However, in this crisis there are opportunities that present themselves. Many of you have inquired in the past about how to save money or even make money by installing solar energy at both your gas station and your home. We want to make you aware that our MBP Trinity Solar, in an effort to help small business owners, contacted us and made an offer of an additional $1500 incentive beyond the customary NJGCA member discount. The other great thing about this right now is they have put together a great program for you to own the system without any cash outlay from you. Many outfits have lease programs, but this would be outright ownership by you, which means you get all of the tax credits and all of the annual income for generating electricity on top of eliminating your electric bill. So even though this is a time of crisis, it also may be a good time for you to seize this opportunity. Particularly for those of you who have inquired about this in the past but never pulled the trigger. You can contact Michelle at email@example.com or you can call John Weldon at Trinity Solar 732-433-2337.