Business Columns & Blogs

Bits of Business | National cleaning company makes regional footprint

They were just about everywhere, except central Pennsylvania.

Now, Fish Window Cleaning has finally made its mark by setting up in Tyrone.

The company, which has 250 locations nationwide, opened up shop to service commercial and residential customers from Altoona to State College and everywhere in the middle. Fish window company offers free estimates and customized service plans tailored to each customer.

Greg Wisyanski, owner of the Tyrone location, prepared for the new business by completing weeks of training in State College and at the company’s headquarters in St. Louis.

“We are thrilled to see Fish Window Cleaning continually expand across the nation, and we join Greg in celebrating the opening of his business,” the company’s Director of Franchise Development John English said in a release. “Our franchise owners get to draw on Fish’s 37 years of knowledge and experience.”

Grants available through Centre Foundation

Nonprofits could get a boost soon.

The Centre Foundation encourages local nonprofit organizations to apply for this year’s Centre Foundation Field of Interest Funds, which will offer about $48,000 in grant money.

The 13 funds that comprise the Field of Interest Funds serve specific geographic areas, types of programs and different populations within Centre County. Each fund starts with a donor and a unique legacy.

“Our donors are passionate and have a drive to make a difference in various places around the County, or for specific neighbors in need,” Centre Foundation Executive Director Molly Kunkel said in a release. “Through these Field of Interest Funds, donors are able to make an impact in an area that matters deeply to them, as well as make a meaningful difference in the community.”

While fund stories are available online year-round, the competitive grant cycle is open once a year each fall. The application period will close 5 p.m. Oct. 23.

To apply for Centre Foundation’s 2015 Field of Interest grants or for more information, call 237-6229 or visit

Library for special needs opens

Eastern Seals Western and Central Pennsylvania hosted an open house Wednesday to unveil its Comcast Lending Library.

Housed in their State College location at 383 Rolling Ridge Drive, the new library enables families of children with special needs to loan equipment to help improve their daily lives.

“The Comcast Lending Library will provide families in our programs and across the community the opportunity to explore assistive technology offerings for their children before making the leap to purchasing these expensive pieces of equipment,” Child Development Center Director Brandy Prebble said in a release. “This will allow parents to have the time to try out devices and to ensure the perfect fit for their child as they seek ways to support their child in communicating with others.”

Equipment being offered for loan include the iPad Touch, iPad Mini and iPad Air devices.

The Lending Library is a result of a $25,000 grant from Comcast.

An affiliate of Easter Seals, headquartered in Chicago, Easter Seals Western and Central Pennsylvania delivers programs and services for children and adults with disabilities or other special needs and their families throughout 47 Pennsylvania counties.

Innovators welcome for challenge

Talent, opportunity and engagement are the three key factors innovators will be judged by when they enter the second annual Knights Cities Challenge, which seeks new ideas from innovators who will take hold of the future of our cities and awards grants totaling about $5 million.

The competition will be tough though, considering that about 7,000 entries were made in the inaugural year, according to George Abbott, Knights special assistant to the vice president for community and national initiatives. There were 32 winners that raked in a combined $5.03 million last year for their projects in a Knight community.

State College is one of 26 Knight communities on the list but failed to have a winning entry last year.

“I’d love (if we had winners in State College),” Abbott said. “So much of the attention for innovation focuses on bigger cities, but it’s more applicable in a place like State College, Gary, Ind., or Akron, Ohio.”

The deadline for applications is noon Oct. 27.

Farmers for charity

America’s Farmers Grow Communities will again partner with farmers to award a combined $3.3 million to community nonprofits across the country, and 33 organizations in Pennsylvania will receive donations in 2016.

Sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, the program gives farmers a chance to direct $2,500 donations to eligible nonprofit organizations of their choice. The deadline for farmer enrollment is Nov. 30.

“Thanks to the participation of farmers from across the country, more than 7,000 nonprofit organizations have received donations through Grow Communities in the past five years,” Monsanto Fund President Deborah Patterson said. “We are excited to team up with farmers once again to help support the causes that mean the most to them and strengthen rural America.”

Pennsylvania farmers can enroll in the program and find a complete list of program rules and eligibility information at Program winners will be announced in January.