VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — With peaks cresting over 14,000 feet, the Rocky Mountains hold adventure for everyone. Nestled below those peaks are local businesses bustling along iconic Main Streets. On April 24, Independent We Stand hits the road for the “Great American Rocky Mountain Road Trip” as part of an online contest presented by STIHL. The contest promotes awareness of the vital importance of America’s Main Streets and the small businesses that help them thrive. The Independent We Stand team will visit 5 cities, in 5 states, in 5 days — engaging with locals and absorbing each city's unique Main Street culture along the way. Here’s a list of a few of our stops:

• April 24, Denver, Colo.: Ace on the Fax & Intermountain STIHL, Let’em Have it Salon, Old Western Paint Co., Mac Equipment
• April 25, Casper, Wyo.: Bosco's Italian Restaurant, Alpine Motorsports
• April 26, Bozeman, Mont.: The Paint Factory, American Independent Business Alliance, Kenyon Noble Lumber & Hardware, Owenhouse Cycling, Downtown Bozeman
• April 27, Idaho Falls, Idaho: Westmart Building Center, MarCellar’s Vintage Wine & Brews, Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corp., Idaho Mountain Trading Co.
• April 28, Salt Lake City, Utah: IPACO, Speed's Power Equipment, Local First Utah

“The goal of this trip is for Independent We Stand to promote the economic and cultural importance of supporting local businesses across America’s Main Streets,” said Bill Brunelle, co-founder of Independent We Stand. “We have the opportunity to help preserve these unique communities and the businesses they create by encouraging consumers to shop locally.”

From May 1 through May 28, consumers and small business owners are invited to go online to to vote for the 25 semifinalists. Participants are also encouraged to rally support for their favorite nominee through social media outlets. The winner will be announced June 5. On the Fourth of July, there will be a “Main Streets Make Us Better” event held on the winning Main Street, to announce the use of a $25,000 grand prize.

Follow the Independent We Stand team on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #RockyMountainRoadTrip, as they embark on this whirlwind adventure. To arrange interviews with participating businesses or the Independent We Stand team, contact Vanessa Coria at or call 757-340-7425.

Independent We Stand has made it easier than ever for consumers who are committed to buying locally to find small businesses to support. Shoppers can go to or use the Independent We Stand Buy Local app to find independently-owned businesses on the go. The app is available for Android or iPhone devices.

Presenting Sponsor:

STIHL, America’s number-one selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment, is the founding sponsor of Independent We Stand and the presenting sponsor of America’s Main Streets contest. The company follows a unique distribution strategy in the handheld outdoor power equipment industry, choosing never to sell products at big box stores, but instead remaining loyal to its 9,000+ independent servicing dealers nationwide.

Supporting Sponsors:

About Independent We Stand
Independent We Stand is a nationwide movement of independent small business owners whose mission is to inspire other small business owners to better understand and celebrate their locally-owned status while educating consumers about the importance and strong economic benefits of supporting them. The Independent We Stand movement is sponsored by STIHL. Associate sponsors include PPG Pittsburgh Paints and Do it Best Corp.