As a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic, we are collectively finding new ways to connect and support one another. The human spirit is consistently strong, resourceful, and caring. In Port Covington you see countless examples of humanity at its most generous and collaborative. One of the guiding principles of Port Covington has always been to be inclusive and accessible to all, while at the same time attracting visionaries and entrepreneurs. Concentrating such talented people and companies fosters a sustainable ecosystem of creativity and production. The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the power and benefits of this approach, with Port Covington uniquely positioned to contribute to the global effort to save lives. Below are some of the ways that Weller Development Company, the Port Covington Development Team, and our visionary partners and tenants are helping in the fight against this global pandemic.
Weller Development Company, the Port Covington Development Team and Weller Management Company are contributing in a variety of ways:
- Coordinating with stakeholders (including SB7, Betamore, South Baltimore Gateway Partnership, and Harlem Park Community Development Corporation) for food and essential supply response
- Providing hand sanitizer to SB7 communities
- Connecting Baltimore City agencies, hospital networks and nonprofits with PPE manufacturers and sanitizer producers to ensure that front-line workers are protected
- Coordinating efforts with essential businesses to expand their physical spaces to allow for greater production
- Providing rent-free space in Impact Village for CityWide Youth Developmentto produce masks and gowns
- Weller Management Company is operational around the clock to make sure the neighborhood and businesses are safe and secure, as well as increased cleaning regimen and protocols.
Betamore is a campus for entrepreneurship, innovation and a dynamic community for the doers of Baltimore. Located in City Garage in Port Covington, one of its current tenants, Move the Needle, is a nonprofit that mobilized to rapidly develop, manufacture and improve on existing mask designs.
CityWide Youth Development, a nonprofit that focuses on workforce training and entrepreneurial skills for Baltimore’s youth, is manufacturing face masks and gowns for government agencies in Impact Village in Port Covington.
Goldman Sachs, in partnership with the Mayor Young’s office, committed $10 million for emergency Paycheck Protection Program loans to underserved Baltimore small businesses through a mission-driven Community Development Financial Institution. Goldman Sachs is an investor in Port Covington.
The LaunchPort, a medical device manufacturing accelerator in City Garage, is home to several companies contributing devices to save lives:
- Engineered Medical Systems (EMS) supports manufacturing of military ventilators in City Garage (and produces emergency CPAP and masks out of its other facilities that are being supplied to hospitals in the State).
- The LaunchPort has donated production space in City Garage to Key Tech to produce a new PPE device – a positive pressure air respirator for biocontainment suits in hospital use.
- Vixiar Medical allows monitoring of congestive heart failure patients at home, which has become critical with the use of telemedicine to keep chronic disease patients out of harm’s way.
- Likewise, ExoRenal is developing the next generation of highly cost-efficient home dialysis equipment – a shift that has been hugely accelerated due to the vulnerability of this patient group to clinic visits. Hemodialysis patients are at much higher risk of death during a pandemic than the general population, and the incidence of kidney disease is significantly higher in lower income groups.
- Brevitest Technologies, a company based in Houston, is working with The LaunchPort to gain approval for a serology antibody test for COVID-19 that can generate results in 15 minutes.
Nick’s Fish House is providing free temporary food storage for local community partners, while remaining open daily for carryout. Order online at www.nicksfishhouse.com
Sagamore Spirit Distillery, home to -50-time award-winning rye whiskey, converted 100% of its distillation from rye whiskey to corn ethanol to manufacture hand sanitizer. The distillery plans to double its initial 54,000-liter commitment of WHO and FDA approved hand sanitizer for hospital networks, first responders and public safety officials. It is also available for consumer purchase at www.shop.sagamorespirit.com. The nation has seen similar efforts in previous wartimes, when manufacturers rapidly pivoted to provide much needed supplies. By the start of World War II in 1939, Maryland held one-third of the nation’s rye whiskey supply and the state was truly a leader in the rye whiskey industry. To support the nation’s war efforts, every distillery in Maryland converted to ethanol production. Now the distilling industry is once again responding to a global threat – with Sagamore Spirit Distillery leading the way.
Under Armour is focusing its local efforts on meeting the most urgent needs to address food insecurity and students transitioning to virtual learning. Additionally, they engaged their employees to build 1,300 face shields and assemble 50,000 personal preparedness packs for local healthcare professionals, and they are manufacturing face masks and gowns at its Lighthouse Innovation Lab in City Garage to support those on the frontlines.
This video shows how Port Covington is supporting SB7 and the City of Baltimore.
The State of Maryland created this video showing how Maryland businesses are responding to Covid-19.