Thursday, November 5, 2009

Holiday Wreaths Available to Your Business

The Holiday Season is just around the corner! Uptown SSA #34 -- in conjunction with Business Partners, The Chamber for Uptown -- is undertaking an inaugural Season's Greetings Wreath Program along with other festive initiatives during the holidays. In past years, SSA#34 arranged and paid for balsam wrapping and large wreaths on the majority of streetpoles with the Service Area. Last year, in light of the expense and worsening economy, no such holiday decorations were put up.

This year, SSA #34 is supporting a holiday decoration program that brings together volunteers, students, service agencies & groups to decorate 24" wreaths that will be distributed to businesses for display on their storefronts. This home-grown approach will result in many more decorations at streetlevel and more involvement in community decoration for the holidays. Wreaths will be decorated over the next several weeks for distribution beginning the week of Thanksgiving.

Don't miss out! If your business is located within Uptown SSA #34, sign up to participate in the FREE Season's Greetings Wreath Program - click here to download the sign-up form and a map of SSA #34. Please reply by Friday, November 6. And - if you have a group of volunteers willing to decorate one or more wreaths, you can still sign up your group by emailing or calling 773-878-1064.


  1. I don't understand why there was an increase in our property taxes to support the SSA budget so they can give free holiday wreaths to business!

    As a business owner, if you can not afford to purchase a wreath yourself, then you should not be in business!

  2. What a waste of money! Let businesses buy their own decorations. People are shooting left and right in Uptown, and they are worried about decorations. Its like they jumped 5 levels on the hierarchy of needs, completely skipping over safety and security. I am not anti Xmas, but i do think this is indicative of warped priorities.

  3. Whine, whine, whine. A little history for you young whippersnappers:

    Back in the "old days" - read 5 to 10 years ago - Uptown had NO holiday decorations. People whined, and with good reason. It looked horrible, particularly compared with Lakeview and Edgewater.

    So when the SSA was set up along Uptown's business corridors (check out the map), it was for the purpose of improving the look of the retail to attract commerce. Businesses (and some residences) along the main drags pay a little extra into the SSA for the services along the retail corridors.

    It has nothing at all to do with the property taxes of people living along residential streets.

    The services the SSA provides include power washing the sidewalks, daily visits to clean up the litter by CleanSlate, and yes - holiday decorations.

    For the first time in anyone's memory, Uptown had wreaths and garlands along the retail corridors after the SSA was formed. And it looked a LOT better.

    Last year, there was a lot of additional whining when the SSA voted to not have holiday decorations, but to use that money instead for a blue light camera that would benefit the community.

    This year, there's a return to holiday ornaments, in a way that individual businesses can all participate rather than just the street corners having garland and wreathes. And here's more whining about it.

    Get over it. Unless you're a business or a resident who lives along the main streets, you don't pay into it. If you are a business or resident who pays into it, get involved and join the board and have a say about how they're spending your money. It's not a chance we get often in Uptown, particularly when you look at the big gaping Money Pit at Montrose and Broadway.

    The businesses are paying into it so you can have cleaner sidewalks and decorations. Now you begrudge them the wreathes they've already paid for.

    I realize there's a lot to complain about it in Uptown, but this is just pro forma whining.

    Disclaimer: I don't live on a retail corridor. I don't pay into the SSA. I'm not on the board. I just remember how it was here in Uptown when CleanSlate didn't come pick up the litter every day, before there were blue light cameras, and how drab it looked at the holidays. I appreciate that these things have all improved without me having to pay a penny.

  4. TrumanSquareNabr- I can't say I disagree with your post, other than your use of the term whining.

    What you are witnessing year over year is likely frustration...

    From what I see, some of us use Uptown Update to vent personal frustrations, and occasionally to rally the community. Too much of the former and not enough of the latter, I fear.

    People would have far fewer issues with the micro-activities of the SSA, etc. if, on a macro level, life in Uptown was not so frustrating.

  5. Stash, I know the level of frustration here. I'm angry at a lot of things that go on, and do what I can to make things better. As we all know, it's difficult to change things from a position of opposition, but it's amazing the number of things the community HAS been able to change for the better.

    I jut find it wearisome to see Every. Single. Thing. generate complaints.

    There was complaining when there were no Christmas decorations; complaining when the SSA opted out last year in favor of purchasing a blue light camera instead; and now more complaining that they're resuming the holiday ornamentation.

    If we complain about everything that makes up the status quo, it just weakens the valid points we do have. And we DO have them.

  6. FYI-

    Last year, at least, WAMA put out decorations and encouraged the display by area businesses.

  7. I jut find it wearisome to see Every. Single. Thing. generate complaints.

    I'm coining another new term:


    It's complaining about complaints.