PLACE is pleased to provide the following tools and resource information to assist and support your business district and nonprofit organization. 

Illinois State Statute Enabling Special Service Areas

city of chicago special Service area (SSA) and economic development information

Cook County, Il information

General business district resources

  • "Are You Ready for an SSA?" prepared by PLACE Consulting
  • “SSA FAQs” prepared by PLACE Consulting
  • International Downtown Association (IDA) - IDA is a world leader and champion for vital and livable urban centers. Through its network of diverse practitioners, its rich body of knowledge, and its unique capacity to nurture community-building partnerships, IDA provides tools, intelligence and strategies for creating healthy and dynamic centers that anchor the well-being of towns, cities and regions of the world.
  • National Main Street Center (NMSC)The National Main Street Center is a national organization committed to historic preservation-based community revitalization. Through education, outreach, hands-on training, online resources, facilitating connections and conferences, the NMSC has equipped more than 2,000 communities with an organizing framework to preserve and revitalize their traditional downtowns and commercial districts based on the Main Street Four Point Approach®.
  • Planetizen - Planetizen is a public-interest information exchange for the urban planning, design, and development community. It is a one-stop source for urban planning news, editorials, book reviews, announcements, jobs, education, and more.
  • Urban Land Institute (ULI) A multidisciplinary real estate forum, ULI facilitates an open exchange of ideas, information, and experience among industry leaders and policy makers dedicated to creating better places.


  • International Economic Development Council (IEDC) - IEDC is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. From public to private, rural to urban and local to international, IEDC’s 4,500+ members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. IEDC’s mission is to provide leadership and excellence in economic development for its communities, members, and partners.
  • Institute for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) - ICIC is a nonprofit research and strategy organization and the leading authority on U.S. inner city economies and the businesses that thrive there. Founded in 1994 ICIC strengthens inner city economies by providing businesses, governments and investors with the most comprehensive and actionable information in the field about urban market opportunities.
  • Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) - BALLE was founded in 2001 to nurture and curate the emergence of a new economy – one that supports the health, prosperity, and happiness for all people and regenerates the vital ecosystems upon which economies depend. With a focus on real change within a generation, BALLE works to identify and connect pioneering leaders, spread solutions, and attract investment toward local economies, advancing the Localist Movement to create real prosperity for all.

Organizational capacity building

  • Below is a list of the most critical nonprofit organizational documents that should be kept current and accessible:
  1. Articles of Incorporation
  2. IRS Letter of Determination granting 501(c) status
  3. Mission, Vision and Values Statements
  4. Goals and Strategies
  5. Board Bylaws
  6. Board Policies
  7. Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct
  8. Board Meeting Attendance Policy
  9. Board Conflict-of-Interest Policy
  10. Roles and Responsibilities of Board Members
  11. Job Descriptions of Board Officers and Other Members
  12. Board Meeting Agendas and Minutes
  13. Committee Meeting Agendas and Minutes
  14. Reports from Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director
  15. Fiscal Policies and Procedures
  16. Annual Budget
  17. Financial Statements
  18. Audit Reports
  19. Organization Chart
  20. Staff Job Descriptions
  • Board Source - With more than 25 years of hands-on experience working with nonprofit boards, BoardSource has become the go-to resource for funders, partners, and nonprofit leaders who want to magnify their impact within their community through exceptional governance practices. BoardSource supports a community of more than 100,000 individuals with customized diagnostics, live and virtual trainings, membership programs, and a comprehensive library of governance resources and publications that include original content. Find useful nonprofit board tools such as organizational structures and responsibilities, fiduciary duties, board member recruiting tools, etc. at their website.

Annual Report Examples