Fortifying Local Economies

A scene from UNC's campus showing the Old Well

Experts at Carolina will lead programming to transform economically distressed communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic in North Carolina and beyond. Focusing on powerful partnerships, the Anchor Institutions Create Economic Resilience program, or AICER, will help build resilient local economies with more job opportunities and business growth in North Carolina and across the country.

A $2 million grant from the Truist Foundation will support AICER, housed at CREATE, an economic development center at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School’s Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. The AICER program works with anchor institutions – such as universities, tribal and local governments, and hospitals – to source their goods and services from minority-owned firms, rural businesses and local suppliers in COVID-impacted communities.

“Carolina’s mission is to use our scholarship, research and expertise to work alongside communities in our state and beyond to improve lives,” said UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz. “This grant from the Truist Foundation enables the AICER program to do that by putting Carolina expertise to work and helping shape more resilient local economies, starting here in North Carolina.”

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