This project is funded as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Understanding and Supporting Anchor Businesses to Build a Culture of Health” program, which seeks to understand the ways that for-profit anchors advance health and well-being in the communities where they are located. This study has two major components. First, using publicly available data from multiple sources, we will generate comprehensive information on the identities, locations, and characteristics of for-profit anchor businesses across the country. This information will help policy makers and public health leaders determine the extent to which anchor businesses can be potential partners to advance a Culture of Health in various communities across the U.S. Second, the study will examine the association between COVID-19-related closures of anchor businesses and the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community.This information will be useful to state policy makers and business leaders who are making decisions about closing and reopening of businesses with little evidence. Deliverables will include: a project summary, a descriptive report on anchor businesses, as well as an anchor business dataset shared via a user guide, a manuscript, two AcademyHealth blog posts, an opinion editorial, and presentations.

Principal Investigator: 

McHugh headshot

Megan McHugh, Ph.D.

Associate Professor in the Center for Health Services and Outcomes Research - Northwestern University

Megan McHugh, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Center for Health Services and Outcomes Research, Northw... Read Bio

Grantee Institution: Northwestern University

Grant Number: 76908

Grantee period: 10/01/2019-3/31/2021

Grant Amount: $249,000


Closure of Anchor Businesses Reduced COVID-19 Transmission During the Early Months of the Pandemic
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine | December 2021

Anchor Businesses in the United States
Northwestern University | April 2020

Anchor Businesses Can Be Change Makers For Community Health Improvement
Health Affairs | April 2020