Business news of local interest

JARI Growth Fund created

JOHNSTOWN — JARI officials have announced the formation of the JARI Growth Fund Inc.

The fund is considered an emerging Community Development Financial Institution by the Treasury Department and is currently applying to the federal government for its certification credentials. Approval is expected in 2017.

The board of directors includes JGF Chairman Steve Howsare, Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission; Amy Nielsen, Croyle-Nielsen Therapeutic Associates; Bill McKinney, United Way of the Laurel Highlands; Russ Kiel, Cambria County Alliance for Business and Industry; Bishop Joseph McGauley, Jefferson Memorial Church; Mayor Frank Janakovic, ACRP and the City of Johnstown; and Rose Lucey-Noll, Cambria County Transit Authority.

Howsare announced the first fund within the JGF, the “Small Business Loan Fund,” which is currently lending between $2,500 and $25,000 to eligible small businesses in Cambria County. Other funds will be established for lending to projects throughout the Southern Alleghenies region which includes Cambria, Somerset, Blair, Bedford, Huntingdon and Fulton counties.

Giant/Martin’s donate to education

CARLISLE — Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets announced a $100,000 donation to 17 Pennsylvania educational foundations that support local schools.

The $100,000 donation is part of the company’s participation in Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program. This program encourages eligible businesses to contribute to scholarship organizations or educational improvement organizations within the Commonwealth to receive tax credits.

The Altoona Area School District Foundation received a $5,000 donation. Giant/Martin’s has participated in the program for more than 10 years.