In the winter of 2017, the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce approached SSA#61 Commissioners about opening up the process for the selection of the SSA#61’s Service Provider. We are happy they agreed to an open process and thus allowing the Chamber to apply for the 2018 Service Provider contract.
The Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce submitted its name for consideration as the logical candidate, honest broker and experienced voice for Hyde Park’s business community. The Chamber feels that with the change in support for the current Service Provider, historically provided by the University of Chicago, this is the ideal time to examine the need for change: Here is how we came to that conclusion.
Hyde Park’s SSA has been managed by the SECC since its inception in 2014. While the Chamber believes that the SECC is a committed community organization, our members have consistently raised concerns about the transparency of the process and protocols articulated and followed by the SSA#61’s current Service Provider.
Questions concerning the management and dispersement of public dollars include:
* How many of these thousands of dollars have been spent locally?
* Have funds been equitably dispersed throughout the SSA footprint?
* Have some businesses within the footprint benefited more from these public dollars than others? Why?
* Should the overseeing Board of Directors be more Hyde Park focused?
* Are businesses outside the Harper Court area (i.e. 55th street and west 53rd street) getting equitable return from taxes paid to the SSA?
The Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce is the logical Service Provider because different values guide SECC’s and HPCC’s respective economic and business development strategies.
Chamber’s values include:
* Cultivating an awareness, understanding and appreciation of cultural values and established traditions and respecting those values and traditions in decision making (the Hyde Park Way);
* Prioritizing building collaborations and earning the respect of Hyde Park’s business and local community members;
* Maximizing inclusiveness, transparency and accountability with stakeholders;
* Utilizing a continuous improvement process and commit to the practice of “Hire local” and “Shop local”.
On behalf the Hyde Park business community, the Chamber expects greater accountability and transparency when managing public dollars. The Chamber believes that reputation, relationships and respect are the intangible deliverables organizations committed to the community must exhibit, and the Chamber believes that most Hyde Parkers espouse similar values.
Therefore, the Chamber encourages Hyde Parkers to share their SSA experiences and their Chamber experiences with SSA Commission Chair, Mike McGarry, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chamber wants Hyde Parks’ SSA and its Service Provider to represent the interest of all stakeholders in the footprint and needs your voice to be heard.
Wallace. E. Goode, Jr.
Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce