Anchor institutions are employers or organisations which have a large presence in a local area which can be partnered with local SMEs to improve the community around them in which they’re based. Ideal candidates would be large institutions which are highly unlikely to leave the local area, such as a university, prison or local council.
This can be done by using the purchasing power of a prison or by the local council using its reach in the local community to signpost purchasers to local suppliers.
University Hospitals Cleveland designed and implemented a strategy whereby procurement procedures for the creation of new hospitals, and the expansion of existing hospitals, would be drawn from a diverse mix of local suppliers. In partnership with Mayor’s Office and local building trade unions the traditional business practices of local hospitals were altered so that their economic power was used for community benefit. The three core commitments to the initiative were:
- Including as many local minority- and female-owned businesses as possible
- Achieving an economic multiplier effect by directing as much spending as possible toward businesses based in the City of Cleveland and the greater Northeast Ohio region
- Producing lasting change in Northeast Ohio by pioneering a “new normal” for how business should be conducted by the region’s large institutions.
By the end of the five year project 110 minority and female-owned businesses had received contracts and more than 5,000 jobs in construction and related industries were created with salaries totalling $500m.
Find it in Sandwell supports local businesses, social enterprises and the voluntary sector by helping them to pitch for and win bigger contracts in their area through a free online business network. Of the many services offered people and businesses can pitch for new business, advertise, find local employees and find out about local business events.
Wellspring Collaborative is a community-based cooperative development organization which partners with anchor institutions to create worker owned cooperatives designed to meet anchor institutions purchasing needs; to provide living wage jobs, training and wealth; and to employ low income residents who have been excluded from the job market.
The Cleveland Evergreen Cooperatives are a group of worker-owned cooperatives which helps their local community to create wealth and local jobs so that they can produce and supply local institutions with local products and services.
Preston Council worked with the Centre for Local Economic Strategies to engage with local anchor institutions to influence their behaviour to ensure their activities brought maximum benefit to the local economy.
Birmingham Wholesale Markets are the largest integrated markets in the UK and serves as an essential hub to both traders and residents of the city. Much of the produce is sourced locally and initiatives from the local council also help to keep things local by ensuring that the local schools are served by the markets as part of their local sourcing and CO2 policies.