A letter from Josh Patrick
Supporting local has always been important to me — keeping our local economy healthy is a priority for me as a business owner, an elected official, and a resident.
I was driving down Main Street during the COVID shutdown and it broke my heart to see Waynesville incapacitated. A few vendors had designed curbside pickup, but that required existing customers to know about their offerings before even considering placing an order. It was clear to me that something was needed to help our local vendors now more than ever.
I imagined a website where you can go and find local products or services – a unified online presence specific to local Waynesville area businesses/artisans/vendors only. Anybody could visit the site to browse and buy, but you must live in the Waynesville area or own a business here to list your product(s) and/or service(s).
This site was created to accomplish three primary goals:
- Create a unified storefront that allows visitors and tourists to buy Waynesville products: An Online Store for Waynesville Shops & Vendors
- Create a database to put all of our local businesses in one place: A Business Directory for Businesses located in the Waynesville area OR owned by Waynesville area residents
- Create a platform away from Facebook and other corporations that use and abuse our data: A Local Social Network to make local friends, communicate, join local groups (and more)
Building a web presence right can be expensive — as a web developer I frequently meet small business owners that want to begin selling online only to be surprised by the cost of building a website, let alone an online store. This will allow small businesses of Waynesville to create an online presence to expand their customer base to locals, encourage repeat buyers, and reach the online market as a whole – all at no up-front cost. Many of us are missing out on an amazing number of retailers and service providers right under our noses – now we can be sure to keep that money in our own community.
If you own a local shop you can brand your page, link to social media accounts, and list products/services for sale on your own customizable storefront on the [waynesville.online] platform. If you own a different type of business, you can list it (or claim your listing) in our business directory so that local customers can connect with you.
What I present is a labor of love, inspired by the “shop local” philosophy and a part of my ongoing commitment to making life better for Waynesville area residents using technology.
Welcome to [waynesville.online]!
P.S. This is a site in BETA, so we are still working out all of the kinks with your help. Please reach out if you find a problem or post in the BETA users forum.
P.P.S. To get you started, here are a couple of quick links: Apply to have an online store on [waynesville.online] and Add my business listing to the directory