The Mountaineer (Waynesville NC) Features Best Shopping On Main Competition

The Mountaineer (Waynesville NC) Features Best Shopping On Main Competition

The folks in Waynesville, NC are serious about winning the Best Shopping On Main competition. When local reporter Vicki Hyatt found out they’d been nominated, she went all out.

The culmination of her efforts (so far) is an article in The Mountaineer that appeared both on the front page in print, and online, and makes mention of the fact that SOM Marketing Director Lisa Packer lived in Waynesville as a child.

(Note from Lisa: I moved to the other side of NC at the age of 11, and I’ve been as surprised as anyone at the success Waynesville has had early on in the contest. As an employee of SOM, I have no stake in the outcome of the contest. I’ve done similar interviews with local papers in several other nominated towns.)

Former Waynesville resident strives to put her home town on the map

Waynesville takes lead in Best Shopping on Main Street contest

By Vicki Hyatt | Feb 01, 2016

A former Waynesville resident with ties to the nationally broadcast RFD TV has found a way to bring her hometown into the national limelight.

Lisa Riddle Packer helped create ShopOnMain, an ecommerce platform that captures the experience of shopping on main streets across America.

“ShopOnMain uses the power of tech to support the growth of small businesses, boost local economies and provide more opportunities to shop small anywhere, any time,” the promotional literature states. “Money spent on goes to real businesses that support their local community by providing jobs and paying local taxes.”

The site has partnered with the producers of the RFD program “Small Town Big Deal” to create a nationwide contest to find the best shopping experience in small towns and historic districts across America.

Nominations for the towns with populations of less than 100,000 began in January and now email voting is underway. The community that marshals the most votes for its shopping area will be featured on “Small Town Big Deal.”

Waynesville is now in second place in the national contest, and the number of votes increases daily as news about the contest spreads within the county and business community.

To cast a vote for Waynesville, visit and vote for Waynesville, or visit the direct link,

Packer grew up on the corner of Camp Branch Road and Mull Street in Waynesville, and went to kindergarten and part of first grade at Hazlewood Elementary school.

Her family moved Florida briefly before moving back to Waynesville shere she attended second through fifth grades at Central Elementary School.

“My dad was in construction and my grandfather Loyd Riddle, built dozens of houses all over the county. But in the early 80s there was no work so we moved to Fayetteville where Dad could work on the military base,” she said.  “I always felt like I left my heart in Waynesville, and I will live there again someday. My youngest will graduate high school in a couple years, so hopefully then.”

Packer said she has been involved in internet marketing for about eight years, and has found it to be a way that will help small, main street.

“We really want to use the power of the internet to help build businesses like the ones on Main Street in Waynesville — the ones that are hurt when the big box stores come to town, and when people buy things online that actually can be found locally,” Packer said.

“The day is rapidly approaching (if it’s not already here) where businesses with no online presence just won’t be able to survive. Shoppers insist on searching for reviews and checking out stores online during the buying process, and if they can get what they want without leaving home, they will. Retail stores who don’t make what they sell available online are going to lose more and more market share. Our goal is to give them the means to do it easily and competitively. And by grouping everyone together, they’ll be able to be found, as well.”

What a win means

The winner will of the Best Shopping on Main competition will receive bragging rights that can be used to promote their town.

The town and all it has to offer will be featured on “Small Town Big Deal” where hosts Jann Carl and Rodney Miller will highlight the local businesses and residents in a video that showcases what makes the winning town’s shopping experience unique.

In addition, the shops and businesses of the winning town will be preserved in its own unique section of so that everyone in the country can discover them and enjoy shopping America’s Best Main Street.