JARI Funds Entrepreneur in Downtown Johnstown

JARI is pleased to announce Microloan funding for a business in downtown Johnstown. Rocco’s Sub Shop, a sub and pizza restaurant located at 345 Main Street, is now owned and operated by Jordan Schroll.

Rocco’s originally opened in 2013 and quickly became a popular destination in Johnstown. When it was time to turn the business over to a new owner, Schroll decided he was ready to own and operate his own shop. “I’m very excited to be my own boss and take on this new challenge with the assistance of JARI,” noted Schroll. Linda Thomson, JARI President, commented “JARI is excited to be working with another small business in the City of Johnstown providing an excellent restaurant option to the downtown community. ”

If you would like assistance in starting or financing your business please contact Michele Clapper, VP of Economic Development, at (814) 262-8368 or via e-mail at .

Preparing Your Personal Financial Statement

Patti Hudson, CPA of Wessel & Company and Jeff Cramer of 1st Summit Bank, will present Preparing Your Personal Financial Statement on Tuesday, January 23rd. Attendees will learn how to complete a personal financial statement, understand what the bank is looking for when submitting a loan application and how to meet the bank’s individual reporting compliance requirements. The financial statement would include the proper reporting of assets, liabilities, income and expenses.

The workshop will be held from 12 PM to 1:15 PM at JARI Center for Business Development. The cost to register is $5 per person and lunch will be provided.

If you are interested in attended, please fill out the registration form and email it to Lauren Brewer at .

Federal Tax Reform

Wessel & Company Representatives will present Federal Tax Reform on Tuesday, January 30th. Attendees will learn about the most comprehensive update to the tax code since 1986, including cuts to corporate tax rates, a special 20% deduction for pass through entities and increase in capital expensing. Attendees will also learn about the significant reduction in income tax brackets, the doubling of the child tax credit and how the tax code strengthens Section 179 deductions.

The workshop will be held from 12 PM to 1:15 PM at JARI Center for Business Development. The cost to register is $5 per person and lunch will be provided.

If you are interested in attended, please fill out the registration form and email it to Lauren Brewer at .

7 Types of Advertising That Don’t Cost an Arm and a Leg

Recently the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) published an article on various ways that businesses can advertise without breaking the bank.

Advertising can be a powerful way to deal with marketing challenges such as low brand awareness, a declining customer base or heavy competition. Or perhaps you simply have a desire to drive more foot traffic to your business and think advertising can help.

There are many more affordable and cost effective techniques available if you choose wisely.  Here are 7 types of advertising that needn’t cost a lot, and can fit within a small business budget:

  • Social Media Ads
  • Classified Ads
  • Event and Charity Sponsorships
  • Sign Spinners
  • Every Door Direct Mail
  • Local TV Ads
  • Local Deal Vouchers

Finally, remember that the most benefit comes from combining advertising with other marketing. Click here to read the full article from the SBA.

If you’re interested in starting your own business or expanding your current business, please contact Michele Clapper at  or by phone at (814) 262-8368.

Big Idea Contest Winner to be Chosen November 16th!

The ten finalists in Ben Franklin’s 2017 BIG IDEA Contest will be making presentations to a panel of area judges beginning at 1:35 PM on Thursday, November 16, 2017.

If you know any of the finalists listed below, or if you are just excited about the Startup Alleghenies initiative in general, please stop by the Bottle Works, located at 411 Third Avenue in Johnstown, to hear the presentations:

  • Joseph DiGangi with AssureTech
  • Justin Capouellez with Boomerang Beacon
  • Heather Moyer with Crossroads Consulting
  • Mark Kasterko with MT Arms
  • Adam Stokes with muonSoft
  • Donald Nixon with Nixon’s Technical Service
  • Hunter Swisher with Phospholutions
  • Ryan Kieta with Real Design
  • James Wang with SimplrTechnologies
  • Anthony Biddle with Siterite

The finalists’ presentations will conclude at 5:00 PM, and a catered reception will immediately follow.  While the judges deliberate, you are invited to enjoy the refreshments and network with the finalists.  This will allow you to learn more about all of them in preparation for casting your vote for the People’s Choice Award which will close at 6:15 PM.  All of the winners will be announced at 6:30 PM.

This year’s cash prizes will be awarded to four winners:
First Place: $25,000; Second Place: $15,000; Third Place: $7,500; and a People’s Choice Award: $2,500.

In addition to the $25,000, the first place winner will also receive:

If you are planning to attend, please send a quick note to .

Startup Alleghenies Program Update

Since June 2017 there have been over 80 people that have shown serious interest in launching a business in Blair, Cambria and Somerset counties. The industry sectors that are being considered by entrepreneurs in our region are a positive sign of a diverse and stronger economic outlook for our area.

Many of our entrepreneurs are participating in various workshops that are being offered by partners in our Entrepreneurial Ecosystem. Recently several members of the Startup Alleghenies Entrepreneurial Ecosystem participated in the “Pittsburgh Technology Council Tech 50 Awards” event. The variety of technology based companies nominated or awarded was very exciting. Advancements in technology will impact a number of industries. Congratulations to all the winners.

For more information on the Startup Alleghenies program, contact José Luis Otero at  or by phone at (814) 254-4023.

First JARI Microloan Client Funded in Bedford County

JARI and the Bedford County Development Association (BCDA) are pleased to announce the first Microloan funded business in Bedford County. I.D. Graphics, a professional graphic design firm owned and operated by Corey and Monica Meckes, offers innovative design ideas and an affordable printing solution for any promotional need.

Bette Slayton, BCDA President, has been working with JARI to provide Microloan funding to the Bedford County business. “We’re excited to have this flexible new loan program now available in Bedford County. It’s an excellent program that will fill an important niche. Businesses will now be able to access microloans up to $50,000 and have experienced business coaching throughout the term of the loan. We look forward to marketing it across the county,” said Slayton. According to Linda Thomson, President, JARI, “JARI is very excited to be working with a home-grown small business in Bedford County and is hoping to assist more businesses over time.”

If you would like more information on the JARI Microloan Program, please contact Michele Clapper at (814) 262-8368 or via email at .

JARI/SBA Host Power Hour Session: Starting a Business


JARI, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Saint Francis University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will host their first Power Hour session titled Starting a Business. If you have always wanted to open your own business now is your chance to learn the basics of small business ownership in just 60 minutes. This session will cover the various topics that a startup company or expanding business should know. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with our team.

This session will take place on Thursday, October 5, from 9 to 10 AM at the JARI Center for Business Development (160 Jari Drive, Johnstown). The cost to attend is free but registration is required. If you are interested in attending click here to register.

If you have questions or need more information, please contact us at (814) 254-4023.

Ben Franklin’s Big Idea Contest Now Open

Have you been thinking about developing or commercializing an innovative product, process or new software application? Ben Franklin Technology Partners are looking for budding entrepreneurs, researchers, software developers or even small existing businesses. The risk-free BIG IDEA contests have been helping folks start or grow their businesses for nearly 20 years.

A simple online application could be the first step in taking you from Start UP to UP and running. Visit the Ben Franklin website for more information and to apply. The application deadline is October 2, 2017 at 5:00 PM.

Click here to find out if you qualify! For questions, contact Jill Edwards at  or phone (717) 948-6625.

2017 Youth Conference

The Human Resources Association of the Alleghenies (HRAA) and JARI are pleased to host the 6th Annual Success is Intentional Youth Professional Development Conference (YPDC) on Thursday, October 19, 2017 at the Frank J. Pasquerilla Conference Center in Johnstown.

Students in grades 10-12 from multiple local school districts will be in attendance. This event highlights career preparation for both college-bound and trade-focused students by providing educational workshops to prepare students for their future.

How to Get Involved and Support Our Future Workforce

  • Become a Program Sponsor and feature your company at this event
  • Donate company branded items or gift cards for prize giveaways

There are limited seats available for school districts. If your school has not registered and would like to attend, click here.

For more information and the sponsorship form click the links or contact Debi Balog at (814) 262-8366 or via e-mail at .