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Blog: Anchor Institutions


Catalyzing Communities: The Role of Anchor Institutions in Building Inclusive Economies for Health Equity


ICIC attended the recent Healthcare Anchor Network (HAN) gathering in Los Angeles, focused on building health equity through inclusive local economies.  Anchor institutions play a critical role in cultivating health equity through inclusive local economies. Small businesses emerge as key players in narrowing the racial wealth gap and driving job creation. The fundamental importance of community partnerships and trust-building with grassroots organizations forms a dynamic "virtuous circle." This interconnected network involves community residents, small businesses, non-profits, technical assistance providers, capital facilitators, and anchor institutions. Successfully navigating this complexity demands skills like listening, patience, and a sustained commitment. Challenges include reconciling cost-sensitive anchor procurement with the imperative of supplier diversity for lasting local impact. Anchor institutions, with substantial purchasing power, stand out as pivotal, urging the need to unlock their potential beyond current limits. Capacity building and innovative supply chain financing strategies take center stage, emphasizing a focus on long-term positive change. Ultimately, anchor institutions can serve as catalysts for profound and sustainable community change, underscoring the importance of a commitment to a long-term journey. Read More


How Large Companies Can Be Anchors for Lower-Income Communities

Peter Eberhardt, Senior Research Analyst, ICIC, and Howard Wial, Senior Vice President and Director of Research, ICIC

By Peter Eberhardt, Senior Research Analyst, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, and Howard Wial, Senior Vice President and Director of Research, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, September 2021 You are an executive with a large company that has a facility in or near a lower-income community in a small ... Read More


Overlooked No More: Advancing the Anchor Framework to Arts and Culture Organizations

Kim Zeuli and Zachary Nieder, ICIC

Arts and culture organizations can play a more powerful role in shaping community development in low-income communities by adopting and adapting key strategies used by traditional ‘anchor’ organizations like hospitals and universities. Arts and culture organizations already make important contributions to the vitality of their communities, and deserve a seat ... Read More


Arts and Culture Organizations—The Overlooked Anchors


“Eds and meds” are the conventional anchors—and remain the focus of most anchor initiatives. But a few arts and culture organizations, such as the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, are beginning to change the narrative, claiming seats at anchor collaboration tables in their cities and begging the question—why aren’t more arts and culture organizations adopting anchor strategies? Read More


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