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Marion Center Bank has agreed to join the PA CARE Package, Pennsylvania’s consumer relief initiative, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Friday. By joining these efforts, Marion Center Bank, along with the Office of Attorney General, will ensure Pennsylvania consumers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible for additional economic relief.

Under the PA CARE Package initiative, banks and financial institutions are working with the Office’s Bureau of Consumer Protection to both comply with the recently passed CARES Act and offer additional protections for consumers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Pennsylvanians need financial protection during this emergency, which is why we launched PA CARE Package to provide relief right now. I thank Marion Center Bank for joining this effort to help consumers. We can beat this crisis, but consumers and small businesses need to know their rights and use the resources available to them,” said Shapiro in a news release. “This commitment will help communities and businesses in western Pennsylvania who are facing lost wages, lost jobs, and lost income focus on what’s important — staying safe and healthy during this emergency.”

“Marion Center Bank is pleased to join efforts with the attorney general’s PA CARES Act initiative to provide additional assistance and support during these difficult and unpredictable times,” said Marion Center Bank’s president and CEO, George Karlheim. “Marion Center Bank is dedicated to continuing to offer a variety of solutions to help affected individuals, families, and businesses during these challenging times.”

To commit to the PA CARE Package initiative, financial institutions and banks must offer additional assistance to Pennsylvanians facing financial hardship due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marion Center Bank is the third area bank to sign on, along with First Commonwealth and InFirst Bank.

WORK HOURS REDUCED

Indiana Borough announced Friday that it has implemented a reduction of work hours for its non-uniform, hourly employees from eight to six hours a day, effective Thursday.

The borough said this reduction is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic that the borough, as well as communities across the state, is experiencing.

Indiana Mayor George M. Hood declared a state of emergency in the borough on March 17 as a result of the pandemic, which borough council extended to 2ᄑ months “unless terminated earlier or otherwise extended by action of borough council.”

Borough officials said what was termed a temporary modification in hours is the result of a decrease in workload due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation and related Pennsylvania stay-at-home orders.

The borough said all essential services will continue to be provided to Indiana residents, while being compliant to state guidelines. Officials said the borough will continue to monitor state and federal guidelines and make appropriate adjustments as those guidelines are updated over the coming week.

GRANTS AVAILABLE

The Save Small Business Fund, a grant-making initiative funded by contributions from corporate and philanthropic partners, is providing $5,000 in short-term relief to employers across the United States. These one-time supplemental cash grants are for businesses that have between three and 20 employees and operate in an economically vulnerable community, such as Indiana County.

The grant application will go live on Monday at 3 p.m. To learn more about the Save Small Business Fund and to apply for a grant, visit savesmallbusiness.com.

BACKYARD CAMPOUT

Youngsters in the Commodore area were among participants as boys adventure movement Trail Life USA conducted its first “National Backyard Campout” Friday night.

Trail Life USA, which describes itself as a “Christ-centered, boy-focused, character, leadership, and adventure organization,” lists more than 30,000 members in 830-plus troops at local churches in all 50 states.

Among them is Troop 2215, meeting at East Mahoning Baptist Church in Commodore, whose scoutmaster is Matt Scott.

Organizers called the National Backyard Campout a chance for families to “virtually” join for story readings, outdoor cooking and other activities, albeit while respecting self-isolating and social distancing from non-family members.