In moments of crisis, there is no time for red-tape discussions, costly initiatives or time-consuming, bureaucratic decision-making. The current health crisis has spotlighted the need for taking immediate action and leveraging resources available at our fingertips. Whether you’re a leader of industry or the owner of a local small business, you can use the web as a powerful resource to support relief efforts across the board.
In New York City, the hardest hit area in the country, there are endless examples of this kind of ingenuity. One is 3D Brooklyn, a 3D printing shop nestled in an industrial valley along the Brooklyn and Queens border. Its cofounders, Nate Kolbeck and Will Haude, learned that hospitals as well as individual healthcare workers were in dire need of face masks, extra ventilation pieces, intubation shields and other personal protective equipment.
3D Brooklyn--which normally creates product prototypes and an array of other items for startups and artists--quickly pivoted in the face of COVID-19. The team signed on volunteers, as well as local makers and artists to help transform their studio into a full-fledged factory for personal protective equipment (PPE).
“Groups like ours are reacting quickly and producing much needed PPE for local hospitals, but we are all under capitalized,” Kolbeck told Forbes in a live Instagram interview. “We have no money or existing business relationships with hospitals. So financial support from our communities is key to helping us continue to produce PPE until the need is gone.”
While 3D Brooklyn already has an existing business website and robust social media following, its founders felt the need to spread the word about their production efforts and GoFundMe page in a separate website, CovidSupplies.NYC. “We just bought the domain, created the website and set it up in less than an hour,” Kolbeck said. He adds that 3D Brooklyn isn’t the only business taking action. “Other groups like us are producing PPE all over the country. People must help by finding them on platforms like gofundme and donating to their efforts. The decision to label the website domain something simple will surely make it easier to find for supporters, volunteers, and most importantly, healthcare workers in need of PPE.
Even the most tech-savvy CEOs recognize the benefits of an .NYC extension amid these times. Shaqfat Islam, CEO of NewsCred software, founded 1M Masks after receiving messages that medical professionals at NYC hospitals were days away from running out of masks and other gear. While mobilizing other investors and startups to get involved, he was also able to quickly launch OneMillionmasks.nyc, a grassroots initiative offering free PPE to healthcare workers in the hard-hit NYC region. He has partnered with Ware2Go which is based in Atlanta, Georgia. The on-demand fulfillment and warehousing company is empowering 1M Masks with free and immediate shipping services.
Other activists and leaders are aiming to support other sectors devastated by COVID-19, such as restaurants. When eateries, bars and cafes from across the city were forced to close earlier last month, most of them had thousands of dollars in inventory already stored in their fridges and cellars. That’s why Coast App launched Takeout Covid which encourages patrons across the country to order takeout and delivery. Cellars.nyc launched as part of this national effort by mapping out participating restaurants that are open for curbside service and delivery. Cellars.nyc is a good use of the local domain as it redirects to the NYC section of the organization’s national site.
Meanwhile, the New York Community Trust has created the Covid19response.nyc, a website that redirects to a resource and donation hub for the COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund. This is a clear-cut example of how a short, memorable, yet powerful .NYC domain can empower fundraising campaigns and urgent efforts like PPE delivery.
Amid the most challenging times, such .NYC platforms help donors, nonprofits, innovators and other community leaders from across the city and country to unite, and help our beloved NYC.