Anheuser-Busch Briefing Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
1615 H St NW, Washington, D.C.
Registration and Breakfast: 8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m.
In 1977, a heavily mustachioed Burt Reynolds played the fast driving, law-evading Bandit, who fled backwater police on a breakneck cross-country race in Smokey and the Bandit. With runaway-bride Sally Fields (called Frog) in the co-seat and the Bandit speeding through the country in his black Pontiac Trans Am, the film’s bluegrass title song from Jerry Reed sums up the Bandit’s challenge: “We’ve got a long way to go, and a short time to get there.”
The United States faces a similar challenge today – a steep economic uphill climb with lots to do and precious little time to do it. This summer, two intrepid Americans will trek out into the country to understand how people are tackling that challenge; however, unlike the Bandit and his truckload of illicit booze, these travelers will steward a message of free enterprise to businesses and citizens throughout the country.
In 2009, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Campaign for Free Enterprise (CFE) made the case to America that free enterprise is the best system for creating economic growth and jobs. It fosters competition, supports innovation, and contributes to a tradition of entrepreneurship that has created the greatest economic power in history.
In 2013, CFE will take the case to America with the Free Enterprise Tour. The benefits are evident; now it’s time to spread the word. CFE is looking for two motivated, hardworking people to hit the road to spread the message of free enterprise in communities across the country. Visiting 15 cities, these Free Enterprise Tour Guides will engage small businesses, entrepreneurs, and citizens, highlighting examples of free enterprise success, championing the role of small business, and promoting the Chamber’s 2013 American Jobs and Growth Agenda.
Along their journey, the Tour Guides will record their experiences and insights through blog posts, photos, and videos. They will relate stories about the enterprising Americans and business folks who are leading free enterprise at the grassroots level, as well as the larger businesses and organizations supporting jobs and growth throughout the country. The Tour Guides will receive $30,000, plus expenses, for their work (which need not be spent on a Pontiac Trans Am nor a mustache trimming kit ala Burt Reynolds).
This is, in short, the best summer job available in 2013. Now, the search is on for the two people who can lead the “On the Road with Free Enterprise” tour. Are you a passionate believer in the principles of free enterprise and an advocate for American business? Do you have the courage and enthusiasm to travel the country promoting policies that empower entrepreneurs and small businesses? Throw your hat in the ring for this one-of-kind opportunity by completing an application to become a Free Enterprise Tour Guide. Applications, found online, are due Thursday, February 28.
While the work will be fun, promoting free enterprise is serious business. As the Bandit sped across the country, the soundtrack crooned: “East bound and down, loaded up and truckin'. We gonna do what they say can't be done.” There are voices around the world that say the United States’ best days are behind her; that the recent economic downturn has permanently bumped America from the helm of global leadership. Certainly, the United States is facing substantial hurdles, but the country’s free enterprise system will allow America to overcome them. We are going to do what they say can’t be done, but it will take all of us working in concert. The Free Enterprise Tour Guides will be important ambassadors to help rally America’s businesses and entrepreneurs.
Apply online today for an opportunity to join this essential (albeit really fun) national mission.