In an effort to help local manufacturers get back on their feet after Super Storm Sandy, Pratt Center for Community Development has launched the Made in NYC Holiday Shop, an online holiday shop featuring a variety of goods including locally-made desserts, handbags, and toys from 170 local manufacturers who employ over 3,000 workers.
“The city's small manufacturers are critical to a healthy, diverse economy with good jobs for New Yorkers, and to the character and soul of our neighborhoods,” said Adam Friedman, director of the Pratt Center. “By shopping Made in NYC, consumers are helping businesses to finance their new inventory, pay their workers, and restore the local economy,” he added.
Many of the city's Industrial Business Zones–which encompass the majority of the city's manufacturing facilities and factories–are located in storm surge zones. Employees at Brooklyn Brine, a pickle and brined products manufacturer located in Gowanus, Brooklyn, were unable to get to work. The businesses' distribution centers in New Jersey were washed out and the business is waiting for people to come back online to start filling orders. Robicelli's, a local manufacturer of cupcakes, brownies, hot cocoa, and other baked goods located in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, lost power and employees worked painstakingly to fill orders by hand, including a large order from Madison Square Garden. Hanky Panky, a women's intimates company located in Manhattan's Garment District, lost power for several days following the storm, bringing all operations to a standstill.
“What we need right now are orders–that is what is going to help us recover,” said Matt Robicelli, co-founder of Robicelli's.
Shamus James, owner and founder of Brooklyn Brine, reflected on the importance of community and direct sales to business recovery efforts:”The great thing about being a manufacturer in New York City is the community, and we are all here to support each other in times of need. Direct sales, including those from the Made in NYC Holiday Shop, are going to be very important as we move into the holiday season.”
Lida Orzeck, CEO and co-founder of Hanky Panky, praised Pratt Center's Made in NYC initiative saying: “Made in NYC is a benefit to New York City's manufacturers. People can easily identify that the product is made in America and Made in New York, and that affects their purchasing decision.”
Pratt Center's Made in NYC initiative receives financial support from New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Citi Community Development, and the Brooklyn Community Foundation.