Business Workshop Attendees

Rob Marchant: Macro to Micro | MBU Business Workshop

In 2018, Rob Marchant presented the Watertown Redevelopment Authority’s (RDA) plans to revitalize Downtown at a Maranatha Business Breakfast. He stated, “[It’s] all about creating spaces where people want to go, have fun, be happy, and spend money.”

On Tuesday, January 9, Marchant presented “Macro to Micro” at Maranatha’s Business Workshop via Zoom. “Macro to Micro” focused on five key trends and how COVID-19 impacted the national economy, the Watertown community, and the Downtown renovation.

Marchant presented four economic influencers that shouldn’t be ignored considering the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • E-commerce, according to Marchant, leaped ahead a decade.
  • Online learning had record-setting venture capital.
  • E-commuting became an every-day occurrence. Marchant cited a Gallop poll stating that more than 50% of the workforce worked exclusively from home during COVID-19.
  • Telehealth barriers were removed. Marchant cited the CDC stating that televisits increased 154% in January to March 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

Marchant gave five key macro-level influencers on the economy:

  • Eroding trust
  • Social unrest
  • The rise of four large and powerful technology companies
  • Federal spending
  • Pandemic experiment

“Erosion of trust may be evidence of potential demand for a renewed sense of community and integrity,” Marchant stated. He shared that the most important element to a business is trust and encouraged the 33 Zoom attendees and 10 in-person attendees to continue maintaining integrity and honesty in their businesses.

Marchant continued, “I’m not talking about virtue signaling. The idea is not to look like you care. You need to genuinely care about your customers.”

Two opportunities that Watertown has because of the past year are the possibility of federal grants and the knowledge to leverage technology and work from anywhere.

Watertown is an authentic community and has unique opportunities for growth, according to Marchant. He encouraged attendees to contribute to the community because it’s an opportunity to impact something bigger than themselves. Marchant looks forward to the opportunity to modernize the local government and make it a hub of community consensus and decision-making.

As he concluded his presentation, Marchant stated six key foundational elements of success that are already underway:

  1. The Greater Watertown Community Health Foundation (GWCHF) has resources to focus on supporting families and literacy which is a key champion, Marchant says, to getting everyone the tools they need to succeed.
  2. The YMCA has become a key hub for social services.
  3. There is a committed local business community.
  4. Watertown has committed large business employers who have already expanded.
  5. There are committed teachers and school administration.
  6. The local government is committed to providing economic “shots in the arm.”

Marchant finished his presentation by stating that the RDA is continuing their work in revitalizing Downtown and creating an enjoyable, aesthetic environment. They have been able to foster cooperation among Downtown business owners and are pleased that most of these business owners are local.

After a short Q&A, Marchant confirmed that his slide presentation would be available online.

The next Business Breakfast on March 9, 2021, will feature Brent Ridge, President/CEO of the Dairyland Power Cooperative. In a live presentation, Ridge will present “Safe and Sustainable Energy for the Future.” Register now for breakfast at 7:00 a.m. and the presentation at 7:30 a.m.