In the midst of so much chaos and uncertainty, it’s inspiring when companies gather their resources to support small business. Through its upcoming project Your Friends in New York, apparel brand Pyer Moss has announced $10,000 in PPE funding and $100,000 in funding for women- and minority-owned small businesses through the Your Friends in New York Business Relief Fund. Grants from the fund will be presented to creative-based businesses struggling to stay open in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
“For our friends with independent businesses,” wrote Pyer Moss in an Instagram announcement on March 18. “We are setting aside $50,000 for minority and women owned small creative businesses who are currently in distress. If you cannot make payroll or cannot cover pressing costs to keep your business afloat, please reach out, let us know what you do and how we can help.”
By March 24, the brand had doubled its commitment.
“With the help of my friend Jen Rubio, we grew this fund to $100,000,” wrote founder Kerby Jean-Raymond in a second Instagram announcement. “We have donated over $78,000 of it so far to 38 businesses including 7 fashion brands, 3 health and beauty brands, 2 wellness studios, 5 cafes and restaurants, 3 childhood education initiatives, 2 concept stores and more community-focused creative businesses.”
Support for artistic and creative businesses is essential to the mission behind the Pyer Moss brand.
Founded in 2013 by Kerby Jean-Raymond, Pyer Moss is part fashion brand, part art project, and part social experiment. Produced in limited quantities in New York City, Italy, and Portugal, and sold at high-end boutiques around the world, clothing in the Pyer Moss collection combines storytelling, activism, debate, theater, and social commentary. Through collaborations with artists and established brands like Reebok, Pyer Moss attempts to open and continue conversations surrounding social issues through the garments they create. Pyer Moss continues its alignment of its mission and product by joining the activism surrounding COVID-19.
Applicants to the Your Friends in New York™ Business Relief Fund need only submit a short application, providing a few details about their business as well as the amount of funding requested (amounts of up to $5,000). The simplicity of the process makes it easier for Pyer Moss to get funding into the hands of business owners who need it most, as quickly as possible.
In addition to the Business Relief Fund, the brand also set aside $5,000 for PPE such as N95 masks and nitrile gloves. With the help of the team’s lawyers, Pyer Moss was able to boost that commitment to $10,000, and has also asked the brand’s social media followers and online supporters to mail in PPE that can be provided directly to front line workers in New York City.
As we know, New York is one of the cities hardest hit by COVID-19.
Through funding and donations to Your Friends in New York, Pyer Moss has obtained over 7,300 masks and 1,000 units of gloves and other face protection that can be donated to fighting COVID-19. In addition, the brand has converted its local factories to produce another 1,000 mask covers that prolong the use of N95 masks.
“We have been providing them directly to those on the front lines as the units come in,” wrote the brand on Instagram. “Thank you for all your help in spreading the word about both initiatives.”
Pyer Moss plans to continue the positive impact of the Fund in the future.
“We are looking at ways to turn this initiative into a more permanent one (like legally),” the team wrote. “But until then, go to yourfriendsin.nyc and hit the survey if you feel we can be of immediate assistance to your business with the funds remaining.”
In the meantime, Pyer Moss encourages everyone to support local businesses.
“Hit your favorite restaurants up and see if they are delivering. Don’t let the people that bring the life to your community and routine shutter during this time.”
Pyer Moss is still accepting donations of N95 masks and other forms of PPE at their New York City office. To make a donation, mail packages to:
Your Friends in New York
242 W 27th St. 7th Floor
New York, NY 10001
To submit an application, visit www.yourfriendsin.nyc.
About Pyer Moss: Pyer Moss was founded in 2013 by Kerby Jean-Raymond. Jean-Raymond describes the brand as an “art project” or “a timely social experiment” at times. Pyer Moss aims to use its voice and platform to challenge social narratives and evoke dialogue. The Pyer Moss collections are produced in New York City, Italy and Portugal. Pyer Moss continues to redefine itself every season with collections and runways that combine storytelling, activism, debate, theatre and social commentary; all while using collaboration with artists and brands as a medium to further the dialogue around seasonal themes. Pyer Moss is sold limitedly and in no particular schedule at exclusive high-end boutiques worldwide. In 2018, Pyer Moss launched its highly anticipated collection with Reebok named “Reebok by Pyer Moss” as part of their newly announced partnership with the footwear giant.
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