• SSA 21 - What is an SSA?
  • Learning About the SSA Program

  • What is a SSA?

    So you want to know what an SSA is?  Imagine this: you're navigating the chaos of a city street, dodging honking horns, sidestepping overflowing trash cans, all while the snow piles up and planters remain a mess. It's the urban grind at its finest. But then, you cross into Lincoln Square, and suddenly, it's like stepping into a different city. Pristine sidewalks, lush greenery, vibrant murals that stop you dead in your tracks—now, that's not just luck. That's the magic of a Special Service Area, or SSA for those in the know.

    These SSAs, also dubbed Business Improvement Districts or BIDs elsewhere, are the backbone of any self-respecting neighborhood in Chicago. They're like the homeowner association for your block, pooling extra funds from property owners along the main business strips to keep the streets humming smoothly.

    In Lincoln Square, it's all about the Neighborhood Improvement Program. Every tax dollar is a brushstroke on the canvas of community enhancement, from sprucing up sidewalks to commissioning jaw-dropping murals that give the neighborhood its character. And let's not forget those whimsical holiday decorations—it's all part of that elusive vibe factor.

    But behind the scenes, it's the Service Providers pulling the strings, making sure every cent is put to good use. With over 80 active SSAs in Chicago alone, it's a cityscape ripe for reinvention at every corner. So next time you're lost in the hustle and bustle, take a moment to appreciate the quirks and charms of Special Service Areas. Because in the ever-changing tapestry of urban life, it's these little touches that make it truly unforgettable.


    Learn more about Chicago's SSA Program by visiting the Department of Planning and Development.



  • Media Inquiries Contact Ripson Group