The American Petroleum and Convenience Store Association (APCA), a grassroots organization formed to represent small independent gasoline and convenience stores owners, launched its Bay Area chapter late last month.
Board members were pleased to see that what once was only a shared common vision among businessmen has resulted in the opening of the Bay Area chapter.
“It has been our dream to unite independent gas station and convenience store owners in an organization that can be used to optimize the business potential that exists today, as well as position us to maximize opportunities in the coming years,” said Jag Kapoor, chairman of APCA.
Nearly 170 people representing approximately 250 convenience stores and gas stations in the Bay Area attended the chapter launch and the launch was well received by store owners in the greater Bay Area. Representatives from vendors such as Core Mark, Dr. Pepper, and local banks also attended the launch. The Mayor of the City of Fremont, Bill Harrison, City of San Jose council member Kensen Chu, and California assembly member Bob Wieckowski presented Joe Johal and APCA with certificates welcoming the Bay Area Chapter. Although he could not attend personally, U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (D-15) wrote a congratulatory note to APCA on the launch of its second chapter. The launch of the chapter was marked with the traditional lighting of a lamp by attending dignitaries.
APCA is a non-profit organization dedicated to empower petroleum and convenience store owners throughout California.
Sanjiv Patel, APCA board member and CEO of National Petroleum said, “With the continued growth of APCA through the formation of regional chapters our strength and unity will undoubtedly yield many benefits to all members.” With nearly 11,200 convenience stores in California, this industry, which comprises small business owners, employs over 25,000 people but due to its fragmented nature it has been very difficult to have a united voice.
JP Sethi, a founding board member, talked about APCA’s involvement in California Senate Bill 610 (fair franchising legislation) and California Assembly Bill AB 1928. Assembly Bill AB 1928, recently signed by Governor Jerry Brown, eliminates the use of discriminatory coupons used by beer distributers which resulted in unfair use of coupons to subsidize the sale of beer to select storeowners. This practice resulted in an unstable market for beer sales and artificially lowered the price of beer at the stores of APCA members, resulting in significant losses.
“We are committed to working together to ensure our members are empowered to achieve greater results,” said Manraj Natt, founding board member of APCA during the chapter launch. With the launch of the Bay Area chapter, APCA currently has nearly 500 members. The APCA Board also announced that in September 2014 they will launch their Greater Los Angeles area chapter.