A North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) employee is headed on a road trip to five cities in five states in five days with stops at numerous independently owned businesses along the way.
On March 12, NRHA profiles editor Renee Changnon is hitting the road with Independent We Stand for its annual road trip. This year’s trip, called “The Great American River Road Trip,” will have the group journeying 1,400 miles along the Mississippi River with stops in multiple cities, including the Minneapolis-St.Paul area; Davenport, Iowa; Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; and New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to name a few.
“The goal of this trip is for Independent We Stand to promote the unique experiences and the economic impact of America’s Main Streets on local economies,” Bill Brunelle, co-founder of Independent We Stand, says. “Our theme this year is ‘Local Memories. Lasting Impact.’”
Brunelle says in recent years he’s seen a desire among consumers to support local businesses as part of the larger buy local movement.
Changnon is eager to support and learn from independent businesses during the trip.
“Not only will we visit multiple home improvement retailers, we’ll have the opportunity to soak up city cultures and support many local businesses from hotels and restaurants to car dealerships and boutiques,” Changnon says. “For five days we live, breathe, eat and sleep local. It’s an incredible experience.”
The overarching goal of the trip is to spread awareness about local economies and brick-and-mortar businesses, as well as to promote Independent We Stand’s annual Main Streets Contest, presented by STIHL. You can visit MainStreetContest.com until April 22 to nominate and vote for your favorite Main Street. The winning main street is awarded a $25,000 grand prize.
Follow Along During the Trip
During March 12-16, Changnon will be taking over NRHA’s Instagram and Facebook and will be sharing daily stories on hardwareretailing.com with details from her journey. You’ll also be able to see posts about the trip by searching #RiverRoadTrip and #LocalMemoriesLastingImpact during the week. Stay tuned!