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Pratt Institute | Information | How Pratt Heart’s Made in NYC Is Serving to Native Companies Survive COVID-19

Posted Friday, August 28, 2020 – 2:18 PM

Frontline employees at Lincoln Hospital within the Bronx with hand sanitizer donated by Made in NYC member MÔTÔ Spirits

New York’s small companies have been challenged by the radically modified atmosphere of COVID-19. Social distancing measures, shutdowns, monetary losses, and a serious shift to digital platforms have all strained assets and operations. Many producers redirected their manufacturing to fulfill the wants of their communities, together with in offering PPE, retaining jobs, and bolstering the native economic system. Made in NYC (MINYC), an initiative of the Pratt Heart for Group Growth, has quickly responded to assist these small companies by creating assets, facilitating entry to monetary assist and different help, advocating for native manufacturing, and coordinating donations of private protecting gear (PPE) for healthcare employees, frontline employees, and protesters.

“Made in NYC members are the inventive heartbeat of New York Metropolis,” mentioned Joanna Reynolds, MINYC supervisor of program and partnership growth. “As a tradition of inventive folks, their need to share their ingenuity and success with their neighborhoods is unparalleled. Our members are at all times prepared to assist and assist their fellow New Yorkers, irrespective of the problem.”

Early within the pandemic, one of many greatest wants was info. Small companies had been grappling with the way to apply for monetary aid, arrange digital marketplaces, and safely maintain their work in a well being disaster. MINYC launched an internet compilation of assets in addition to a frequently up to date COVID-19 database to help producers, small companies, and entrepreneurs in accessing monetary aid and navigating altering insurance policies. 

Every week, the Made in NYC workforce has held open “Workplace Hours,” an intimate digital studying and sharing area for the manufacturing neighborhood. These have concerned over 50 small companies and entrepreneurs, serving to them share their tales, experiences, and finest practices, all important in shaping reopening efforts. Reynolds additionally moderated a digital city corridor with Miquela Craytor, government director of the Manufacturing and Industrial Innovation Council at New York Metropolis’s Small Enterprise Companies Company; Elli Papadopoulos of the Skopos small enterprise consulting agency; and Lawyer Andrea Tan of Authorized Companies NYC. Their dialog centered on the state of producing in New York Metropolis throughout COVID-19.

​Made in NYC member CamCam manufacturing facemasks
Made in NYC member CamCam manufacturing facemasks

In the course of the peak of the pandemic within the metropolis, numerous companies within the MINYC community remodeled their studios or places of work into areas for the manufacturing of PPE to fulfill shortfalls for healthcare and different frontline employees, resembling In.sek Design, the studio of Visiting Assistant Professor of Inside Design Ashira Israel, BArch ’11, which made and delivered face shields to space hospitals. MINYC was in a position to assist these companies by connecting them with distribution networks to get the PPE they produced into hospitals and different locations in want.

When the anti-racism protests grew throughout the 5 boroughs, MINYC coordinated the donation of 1,626 models of masks, face shields, and hand sanitizer to these working towards their civil proper to peacefully and safely assemble. Partnering with community-based teams like Equality four Flatbush and the Bronx Defenders, they labored to direct this PPE to communities most impacted by the pandemic. Additionally they created procuring guides for customers to assist Black-owned and LGBTQIA+-owned companies now and at all times.

Important to creating this PPE manufacturing attainable was the energy of native business supported by MINYC and the zoning for manufacturing that they’ve lengthy advocated for as a part of the Pratt Heart. Govt Director of the Pratt Heart Adam Friedman mentioned these points in an op-ed for Crain’s New York Enterprise, highlighting how corporations within the Brooklyn Navy Yard had been in a position to shortly pivot to creating masks, robes, hand sanitizer, and different PPE by means of a “city-wide ecosystem of productions together with plastics from Queens and material from the Garment Heart.”

As these corporations face a future through which on-line advertising and marketing and a strong digital presence are extra essential than ever, MINYC has additionally transitioned its Studying Lab right into a digital classroom. Working with Pratt Institute college, employees, and college students, the Studying Lab presents and teaches inventive providers to enterprise homeowners. To fulfill the brand new wants of COVID-19, the Studying Lab launched a collection of webinars and different on-line occasions free to MINYC members, from video advertising and marketing methods to DIY lighting strategies for product pictures, all aimed toward empowering producers to be self-sufficient and inform their tales in a digital area. Between March and Might, over 200 contributors joined these workshops and the complementary digital city halls.

​Made in NYC member Bronx Brewery donating products to healthcare workers
Made in NYC member Bronx Brewery donating merchandise to healthcare employees

Now MINYC is waiting for the return of the annual Made in NYC Week. This 12 months’s occasion, scheduled for October 2 to 9, might be digital, with experiences for the general public highlighting the improvements being spearheaded by MINYC members. Attendees can study firsthand tales about their diversifications, resembling style corporations making face masks to assist disabled communities and meals and beverage makers generously donating to frontline employees. Made in NYC Week and different future happenings will proceed to be shared on the MINYC Instagram. 

Because the pandemic progresses and the economic system is in a recession, New York Metropolis companies are persevering with to adapt to ever-changing circumstances. MINYC lately launched a brand new PPE Market connecting customers with companies producing PPE in New York Metropolis, alongside the native merchandise at all times promoted on the Made in NYC web site. By means of supporting this various community of companies, from distilleries now making hand sanitizer to style manufacturers and furnishings corporations stitching masks, MINYC and the Pratt Heart are strengthening the resilience of the native economic system so that it’s going to survive and rebuild as a neighborhood.


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