published Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Business Briefs: Idea Initiative aids Tennessee downtowns

Idea Initiative aids downtowns

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development is partnering with two federal agencies to launch “IDEA Initiative” to assist Cleveland, Cookeville, Dayton, McMinnville, Sweetwater, and 22 other small Tennessee towns boost their downtown retail activity.

The new $121,500 program for Tennessee’s Main Street communities is designed to “Ignite Downtown Economic Action” (IDEA) by helping to fund community studies and programs that boost small town activity.

The National Main Street Center will utilize Barman Development Strategies, LLC to help each community identify the strengths of its downtown, market position and a specific development need or opportunity that exists. The process will include public workshops in each community throughout 2014.

“Vibrant downtowns are valuable community assets because of the way they contribute to local economies,” Tennessee Main Street Director Todd Morgan said.

Two plead guilty in fraud scheme

Two California residents have pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money derived from a scheme to defraud Nissan North America.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Nashville, Francisco DeLaRosa and Tracey Young helped gather information on Nissan owners that they passed to a Nissan employee. The employee then filed false claims requesting settlement checks. According to the indictment, around 80 false claims were filed, totaling approximately $571,500.

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