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Advancing Anchor Procurement Strategies: Early Findings and Next Steps for the Field

Universities and hospitals are major economic forces in many American cities. Despite this reality, few, if any, regional economic development strategies are…

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Summary

Universities and hospitals are major economic forces in many American cities. Despite this reality, few, if any, regional economic development strategies are built around these stable and rooted "anchor" institutions, and fewer strategies still seek to harness these institutions’ economic power to create opportunities for low-income people.

Through their hiring, purchasing and other activities, anchors generate billions of dollars in economic activity with the potential to benefit low-income people directly. Through its Integration Initiative, Living Cities has partnered with several cities seeking to work with anchors to realize these potential benefits. A key learning from this work has been that, in order to achieve population-level results for low-income people, anchors cannot act alone but rather must be part of a broader system whose actors align their efforts and investments.