Advertising & Promotion
SSA funds are used to promote area businesses by sponsoring special events and by advertising through both public and social media. The annual West Fest, held each summer along W. Chicago Avenue, is one of the area's most popular events. SSA sponsors events including: West Fest Chicago, West Town Art Walk, West Town Winterfest, and other local shopping initiatives.
Public Way Maintenance
Cleanslate, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides paid transitional jobs in neighborhood beautification keeps the area sidewalks clean, litter-free and trash cans emptied on a daily basis.
In the winter, sidewalks are plowed and salted whenever the snow is 2" or more. Sidewalks are professionally power washed when needed, and a graffiti removal team spends 4 days a month removing graffiti throughout the entire SSA.
Graffiti Abatement Rebate. Property owners and tenants may receive a rebate of 50% of the cost of removing and preventing graffiti on the front of their buildings, up to $500.
Public Way Aesthetics
To beautify and give the area a neighborhood presence within the City of Chicago, SSA funds are used to create and hang street pole banners, as well as to purchase and display holiday decorations. Streetscape elements, like artist-designed trash cans, are installed and kept in good repair using SSA funds. Public art is another way that SSA funds are used to beautify the area.
Street Pole Banners Sponsorship: Businesses may sponsor a street pole banner and have their business names printed on the banner as a form of advertising. Please see our Street Pole Banner Sponsorship Brochure, and contact the SSA Program Director with your sponsorship request.
West Town Public Arts Initiative
The Public Arts Initiative within West Town values cultural diversity and takes art out of designated space and places it in the public context to create full accessibility. Through highlighting local, emerging, and established artists; our purpose is to culturally invigorate our vibrant community by enriching the neighborhood with pieces of public art, which will help to stimulate the local economy and establish West Town as a unique cultural destination.
Objective: To create community art spaces near parks and schools, in store fronts, on/in vacant properties, stimulate the local economy through cultural enrichment, aesthetically improve the neighborhood, commission paintings for scaffolding and temporary construction sites, update and maintain green space.
We work with hundreds of local artists proficient in a wide range of styles and techniques. Working with local artists is a great way to be an active member in your community, gain awareness of your space and reflect the fun and creative aspects of our community. By donating your space, or artistic talent to the public arts initiative you’re helping to bring positive change to our commercial corridors. We ask that you help us set West Town apart with a work of public art and together we will be able to create beautiful works for all to enjoy.
Artists that paint on temporary spaces such as scaffolding or the viaduct at Chicago & Lessing can be reimbursed $400 for a space up to 20ft, and $800 for a space larger than 20ft. This does not require an application, just coordination with the West Town Chamber staff. Other more permanent works can apply via the Public Arts Grant Application.
Tenant Retention & Attraction
SSA-funded staff maintain a property vacancy list and work to link property owners, developers, realtors and entrepreneurs.
Staff are also available to provide technical assistance to those who are looking to start or expand a business within the SSA and can assist them in finding City services / permits, as well as linking them to other valuable resources.
In addition to analyzing demographic and statistical data, area businesses, property owners, and consumers are canvassed and asked about their vision for the neighborhood and the need for specific services.
Key findings, such as the area's cleanliness, walkability, traffic patterns, public transportation, safety issues, building conditions and vacancy rates, provide the information needed for program development and long-range planning.
Security Rebate Program
The West Town SSA has created a Security Rebate Program where property owners, business owners, and residents can apply for 75% rebate up to $3,000 towards security cameras and systems, as well as other security related measures. Please see the Security Rebate Application below for more specific guidelines on the program.