SSA #5 is comprised of the Commercial Avenue shopping district in South Chicago. Special Service Areas are local tax districts that fund expanded services and programs through a localized property tax levy within contiguous areas. The enhanced services and programs are in addition to those currently provided through the City.
SSA-funded projects typically include but are not limited to: public way maintenance and beautification; district marketing and advertising; business retention/attraction, special events and promotional activities; auto and bike transit; security; facade improvements; and other commercial and economic development initiatives.
The City contracts with local non-profits, called Service Providers, to manage SSA's. South Chicago Parents & Friends is the Service Provider for SSA #5. Commissioners for each SSA district oversee and recommend the annual services, budget and Service Provider Agency to the City. For additional information, visit the City of Chicago's SSA Program online.
To review a map of the Commercial Avenue SSA #5 district, click here. The Commercial Avenue Special Service Area #5 was established with the strategic mission to enhance and maintain a vibrant, pedestrian friendly, neighborhood commercial district that reflects the culture of South Chicago, serving local stakeholders and attracting visitors.
- Advertising and Promotion: We develop promotions, campaigns and business retention and attraction materials.
- Façade Rebate Program: We assist in the revitalization of the commercial buildings within the SSA by providing financial and technical assistance to the owners and tenants who wish to improve their storefronts. Through this program, owners and tenants are eligible for a 90% rebate up to $9,000 on improvements made to their façade. Download application here.
- Outreach: We visit businesses within the SSA to provide technical assistance and ensure that business owners are aware of all the programs, services and resources available to them.
- Public Way Aesthetics: We mulch, weed and plant seasonal plantings. In addition, we install holiday decorations, maintain street pole banners and purchase streetscape elements, as needed.
- Public Way Maintenance: We regularly conduct field checks of the public way, empty waste receptacles and contract for snow removal.
- Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF): We promote and revitalize the commercial buildings within the Commercial Avenue Tax Increment Financing District by providing financial advice and technical assistance to the owners and tenants who wish to improve their commercial properties. Through this program, owners and tenants are eligible for up to a 75% rebate on improvements made to their building/business. To see if you are in the Commercial Avenue TIF district click here.
- Marketing: We market the shopping district within the SSA #5 and the larger South Chicago community by maintaining a website and Facebook page. Help us get the word out and like our Facebook page.
SSA Commissioner Meetings
Commissioner meetings of the Commercial Avenue Special Service Area #5 are open to the public. The meetings are held at MB Financial Bank at 3030 East 92 nd Street.
SSA Opportunities to Contribute
SSA #5 has five working committees that develop and execute action plans to strengthen and promote the shopping district and the surrounding community. The committees meet monthly for an hour and are comprised of community residents, business and/or property owners and others who want to contribute.
Event Committee: Creates calendar of events, developing partnerships with organizations to celebrate our community
Green Committee: Develops and implements green strategies to beautify Commercial Avenue
Planning & Development Committee: Works on long range plans to drive investment in commercial corridor
Marketing Committee: Creates branding, marketing and sales strategies to attract customers and businesses to Commercial Avenue
Safety and Security Committee: Partnering with the city, community organizations, businesses and residents to create a safe and secure community
If you are interested in participating on one of these committees, please contact:
Commercial Avenue Special Service Area #5