USDA to develop Iowa agribusiness

Bill Menner, state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, will be traveling all over the state to promote his Rural Issues Listening Post project.  Menner will visit several small towns in Iowa to meet with community leaders, economic development officials, and city residents to discuss ways to develop agribusiness and make rural Iowa into thriving part of the state.

According to the department, more than half of Iowa’s 950 cities have fewer than 500 residents.  The USDA Rural Development manages more than 40 loan and grant programs to help rural economic development through housing, business, and other community programs.  Last year, about 180,000 acres in Iowa were used for agribusiness and planting, an increase from the 145,000 acres utilized in 2007.

To discuss agribusiness litigation with an experienced agribusiness attorney in Des Moines, contact LaMarca Law Group, P.C. today at (877) 327-2600 and learn more about how we can help you.



Charles Schwab uses $1 billion in stock to buy OptionsXpress

Today, Charles Schwab Corp. agreed to use $1 billion in stock to purchase OptionsXpress, a retail options brokerage.  The brokerage will be used in the Schwab’s equity and mutual funds offerings.

In the purchase, Schwab agreed to exchange 1.02 of its shares for each OptionsXpress share.  OptionXpress’s acquisition price totaled 20 percent more than their closing price on March 18th.

Since 1999, Schwab has made at least 15 business purchases.  Last year, the company bought Windward Investment Management Inc. for $150 million.

If you are a business owner looking to sell your business or purchase another business, contact the Des Moines business sale and purchase attorneys of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at (877) 327-2600 to learn more about how we can help you.



Dunkin’ Donuts considers franchising in Des Moines

Dunkin’ Donuts is considering expanding their business thorough Iowa, particularly in Des Moines, Sioux City and Cedar Rapids.  Last year, the  coffee and bakery chain opened 574 new locations worldwide and committed to franchising 226 new stores in the United States.  The company is also expanding their franchise into new markets like airports, universities and sports arenas.

Grant Benson, CFE and vice president of franchising and market planning, stated, “Dunkin’ Donuts is looking for qualified candidates with foodservice, operations and real estate experience to join our team to help expand the brand’s footprint in Des Moines and the surrounding areas.”  Company officials say that franchisee financial and experience qualifications will vary depending on the market.  However, potential Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees are expected to have a minimum net worth of $500,000 and liquid assets amounting to $250,000.

If you are considering entering into a franchising agreement with another party, contact the Des Moines franchise drafting lawyers of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at (877) 327-2600 to learn more about franchise drafting in Des Moines.



Iowa State files business misconduct suit against veterinarians

Last week, Iowa State University filed a business misconduct lawsuit against three former employees of their veterinary hospital, Iowa Veterinary Specialties.  Iowa Veterinary Specialties was formerly a nonproft hospital, but the university purchased it in January as a place for veterinary students to be able to work with experienced veterinarians.

The suit claims that three doctors and an operations managers stayed with the veterinary center after the university purchased it, but planned to later separate to start a competitor veterinary hospital, Iowa Veterinary Referral Center.  Officials from ISU claim that the new veterinary center diminishes the value of the school’s purchase of the Iowa Veterinary Specialties center earlier this year.

Moreover, court documents allege that the employees left the veterinary clinic on the day the sale was finalized with Iowa State and only after they were able to obtain confidential information on the clinic’s finances and customers.

If you or someone you know has questions about breach of contract or an employee contractual dispute, contact the Des Moines contract dispute attorneys of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at (877) 327-2600 today.



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