Chamber takes a road trip to promote free enterprise

WASHINGTON: The US Chamber of Commerce launched its "On the Road with Free Enterprise" tour Wednesday night at Nationals Park in Washington DC.

WASHINGTON: The US Chamber of Commerce launched its “On the Road with Free Enterprise” tour Wednesday night at Nationals Park in Washington DC.

Nate Hindman, former small business editor at The Huffington Post, and one-time Thrillist editor Joe Epstein will interview individuals and tell stories about small businesses during a two-month cross-country road trip. They will cover how those businesses and their communities have helped each other succeed, grow the economy, and create jobs. The duo will document its experiences with blog posts, photos, and videos on the Chamber's Free Enterprise website.

Hindman and Epstein were chosen from a pool of more than 900 teams.

“Our goal isn't only to speak to the audience of the US Chamber, but also help to bring some younger eyeballs to the site as well,” Epstein said.

The first destination is Charlotte, NC, where a young entrepreneur has teamed up with a company to develop a smartphone that doubles as a breathalyzer. The duo also hopes to ride along with local journalists in each market, with the hope of gaining general media coverage of the tour.

“It will give us a chance to hear what makes the city so cool,” Epstein said.

General Motors is supporting the tour by supplying a new 2013 Chevy Traverse, which “tour guides” Hindman and Epstein will use to travel from coast to coast.

The idea for the tour came from a brainstorming session on how to continue to draw attention to the Free Enterprise campaign the Chamber launched in 2009.

“We want to move the needle; we want people to understand that free enterprise helps to make their life what it is,” said Margaret Shepard, executive director of communications and strategy at the Chamber.

Washington-based agency Adfero Group helped to plan the logistics of the tour. It is also assisting the Chamber in disseminating and promoting content that Epstein and Hindman produce, they said.

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