New Report: The New Anchors: Corporate Engagement with Lower-Income Communities in Smaller Cities

Posted by MARGA Inc. on November 9, 2021

Anchor institutions are large or otherwise influential organizations that participate in community engagement activities and have relatively deep roots in (are unlikely to move from) their communities. This report explores the motivations and strategies of for-profit corporations’ engagement as anchor institutions with lower-income communities in four smaller cities: Amarillo, TX; Fort Wayne, IN; Richmond, VA; and Syracuse, NY. Using case studies, it presents detailed findings about companies’ motivations and strategies in engaging with lower-income communities that are either home to or located near their facilities. The report pays particular (although not exclusive) attention to for-profit anchor engagement in three areas related to community health and well-being: economic development, gentrification, and direct health outcomes.

Community engagement includes all activities that organizations intend to create benefits for their communities. Lower-income community engagement is community engagement intended to create benefits for lower-income communities. This definition encompasses a wide range of activities that include but are not limited to sponsoring public events, making charitable donations, funding or undertaking community and economic development initiatives, intentionally locating a factory in a lower-income community and hiring local residents for middle-wage jobs there, and funding programs to feed children in need.

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