With the potential looming for at least another month of a drive-through economy, several prominent local businesses have combined on an ambitious effort to turn the tide on the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
Local furniture maker Urban Plough has teamed up with Phoenix design firm BrandLoyal and local bakery Noble Bread to create “Goods for Good,” a program with several moving parts designed to counter the negative impacts of COVID-19 and create jobs for those who have lost employment in the past few weeks.
At the core of the effort, Urban Plough is working to ramp up production of intubation boxes that protect healthcare workers as they treat critical patients with COVID-19. In just three days, they have been asked to make over 100 units and send them all over the country.
The intubation boxes were designed by Phoenix ER doctor Benjamin Reese, based on an initial design by Dr. Hsien Yung Lai in Taiwan. Urban Plough Furniture created digital files for the boxes to be produced. The files have been made free for download so others can produce them, or a donation can be made and the company will produce them. There is also a GoFundMe campaign (intubationbox.com) running for donations as well.
Urban Plough has also developed innovative and affordable new desks for individuals who are confined to a home office environment indefinitely. The new desks are smaller, more affordable and quickly manufactured, and can be dropped off or picked up with white-glove treatment to maximize safety.
BrandLoyal is providing design services for the group on a pro-bono basis and Noble Bread is utilizing its existing distribution network to get the products out into the community.
Each of the desks the group is selling provides a manufacturing employee with one week of pay and benefits, so in addition to driving revenue, the sales are also supporting workers at a time when they need it most. The volume of sales will allow the initiative to employ people from the hospitality industry who have recently lost their jobs.
All of the products are made locally, with 90% of the supplies coming from local distributors. This revenue is critical to not only employ people but to allow the group to innovate solutions like they have executed with this critically needed intubation box.
“Being able to sell our products ensures we are available to continue the philanthropic ideation and creation for those directly engaged with the crisis while continuing to be productive for the greater community,” said Matthew Moore, owner of Urban Plough. “It’s meant to be a hub for the direct sale of goods by local businesses. We have secured partnerships with developers to be drive-thru distribution hubs that can aggregate the goods that are sold. At this point, the hub is just our desk and intubation screen but as we create more goods, we are also partnering with other producers that are making products for good.”
The effort came together over the course of just a few days, and the Goods for Good partnership would welcome further participation from other local businesses affected by the crisis.
All goods can be purchased through the new e-commerce web site now live at goodsforgood.co.