Representative Ron Travis joined with state leaders to announce the launch of the “IDEA Initiative,” a partnership of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Appalachian Regional Commission to assist Tennessee Main Street communities in setting achievable, effective, and sustainable development objectives. There are currently 27 Main Street communities across Tennessee, including that of Dayton.
IDEA stands for “Ignite Downtown Economic Action”. The initiative will provide each participating Main Street Community with an assessment and a set of specific recommendations for economic development based on the National Main Street Center’s Four Point model: design, economic restructuring, organization, and promotion.
“I am excited to help announce our state’s partnership with the USDA as we launch this innovative new program that will help communities across the state,” said Rep. Travis. “Tennessee’s downtown areas are valuable community assets that contribute to our local economies on a daily basis. I am happy to be a part of this new program and look forward to continuing work that will foster job growth and revitalization efforts in our rural communities.”
The IDEA Initiative will sharpen the focus on the role of local Main Street programs as drivers and contributors to comprehensive local economic development efforts. This proven strategy works by strengthening local Main Street teams, improving action plans, increasing understanding and confidence in Main Street districts for investors, and developing economic restructuring resources and reference tools for each local programs.
In 2012, designated Main Street communities generated more than $82 million of public/private investment and created 604 new jobs. Main Street programs are located in Bristol, Cleveland, Collierville, Columbia, Cookeville, Dandridge, Dayton, Dyersburg, Fayetteville, Franklin, Gallatin, Greeneville, Jackson, Jonesborough, Kingsport, Lawrenceburg, Lebanon, Leiper's Fork, McMinnville, Morristown, Murfreesboro, Ripley, Rogersville, Savannah, Sweetwater, Tiptonville and Union City.
Rep. Travis is a member of the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee and the House Insurance & Banking Committee. He is serving his first term in the Tennessee General Assembly and represents District 31, which includes all of Rhea, Bledsoe, Sequatchie and a portion of Roane Counties.