In late 2016, the Baltimore Integration Partnership (BIP) engaged a team of consultants led by Next Street to help BIP’s anchor institution members to consider economic inclusion policies and practices around procurement. Together, these policies will serve as a model approach for adoption by other industries.
Working with close partner U3 Advisors and local expert Michele Whelley, the consultant team assessed how procurement is conducted at five of BIP’s member anchors, developing detailed assessments of current practices and providing guidance about actionable ways each can lever their business-as-usual buying for greater local and minority impact.
In a December 2016 report-out to BIP’s procurement board, other key leaders from the City, and peer anchors, our team detailed shared challenges and opportunities identified through the work with the five anchors. It is BIP’s long term vision that other anchors and peers across the country will use these findings to improve their own practices.
A big driver of anchor economic development comes from the cooperation facilitated by anchor collaboratives, like BIP in Baltimore, which brings together leading anchor institutions to coordinate and share their individual economic development efforts. These collaboratives are uniquely positioned to create leverage for their members, by distributing the cost of building and maintaining ‘shared resources’ that can support members to drive value through their individual buying, hiring, investing, and more.
In the December report-out, our consultant team discussed the importance of these ‘shared resources’ and encouraged the BIP to continue to strengthen those that they build, in order to drive dividend impact from their anchors’ efforts.