Economic Development

SSMMA’s planning, transportation, housing and economic development efforts contribute to long-term vitality and regional growth.


SSMMA is a partner and a resource for local governments that want to improve housing in their communities.


SSMMA is committed to plans and projects that enhance the region’s transportation and mobility systems.


SSMMA helps leverage technologies in the region that support the demands of business, education and local government.

Regional Quality of Life

SSMMA creates, promotes and delivers consensus-backed, regional solutions that make our communities more livable and protect or enhance our natural environment.

Economic Development »

CSEDC’s Quarterly Forum featured tourism, site planning with GIS, exports and retail

July 28, 2015 – 8:54 pm | 68 views
Metro Chicago Exports Managing Director Tom Hulseman

Metro Chicago Exports Managing Director Tom Hulseman

The Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation and South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association held the summer quarterly forum July 24, 2015 at the Thornton Fractional South High School, hosted by the Village of Lansing. We gratefully acknowledge the kind hospitality of Lansing Mayor Norm Abbott, the insightful presentations made by SSMMA Planner Dennis Latto, Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Jim Garrett, and Metro Chicago Exports Managing Director Tom Hulseman, as well as Michael Scholefield for moderating the event.

Mayor Abbott opened the forum by sharing that Lansing’s vision for the future, “The Way Forward,” which includes a new 2014 village comprehensive plan;  four tax increment financing districts; an Enterprise Zone Program application; creating a business retention and expansion program and improving the town’s gateways. Please click here to view the slides.

In a subsequent presentation, Tom Hulseman said there were tremendous growth opportunities for businesses to export goods and services overseas. In his role as managing director for Metro Chicago Exports, Mr. Hulseman leads a collaboration between seven Northeastern Illinois counties and the City of Chicago to increase exports from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and to support regional job growth.

Tom gave details about the Metro Chicago Exports Grant program, funded by JPMorgan Chase, which helps businesses expand internationally. The grant program, offers small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) up to $5,000 for costs associated with doing business abroad, including education, financing, marketing, compliance, business development, and counseling. The second wave application deadline is July 31, 2015. Please click here for the presentation slides.

In another topic, Jim Garrett discussed how the tourism and hospitality industry creates economic development in the Southland. In fact, the Illinois hotel/motel tax revenues generated: $240 million and 301,100 jobs in 2013, he said. Mr. Garrett believes that with a new major sports complex, the Chicago Southland could become a major sports destination driver, and he is seeking investors. Please click here to view the presentation.

Dennis Latto presented SSMMA’s SSAtlas geographic information system (GIS) mapping tool used for industrial rail site development planning in the Calumet River Corridor communities of Blue Island, Dolton, and Riverdale. SSAtlas is a web-based map viewer that allows viewers to display local, regional and federal spatial data. Please click here to view the presentation slides.

In closing, CSEDC and SSMMA Economic Development Director Reggie Greenwood announced that retail development group Select Chicago Southland will meet monthly and is now open to any community, whether or not they participate in the annual International Council of Shopping Centers’ retail convention, RECon. For more formation on Select Chicago Southland or becoming a CSEDC investor, please contact Holly Campbell at 708-206-1155.

More photos are here.

Aug. 7: Railroad hazmat emergency training

July 27, 2015 – 4:27 pm | 31 views
Aug. 7: Railroad hazmat emergency training

From the Union Pacific Railroad; please share with emergency responders, fire departments, EMTs, police and safety managers:
DOW Chemical/ Union Pacific Railroad/TRANSCAER Railroad Training
Starts: 8/7/2015 9:00 AM local time
Ends: 8/7/2015 4:00 PM local time
5005 Barnard Mill Road
Ringwood, Illinois …

Three Southland mayors to advise on Tri-State Tollway project

July 27, 2015 – 3:34 pm | 18 views

Three Southland mayors are among 33 members of a planning council that will have input on the $1.7 billion project to reconstruct the Tri-State Tollway.
Three Southland mayors have been named to a planning council that …

Country Club Hills considers theater upgrades

July 27, 2015 – 3:04 pm | 14 views
country club hills theater

Mothballed for nearly two years, Country Club Hills’ outdoor amphitheater could be in line for upgrades including more than doubling the number of fixed seats at the venue.
The theater, just east of city hall at …

SSMMA’s 36th annual golf outing a steamy success!

July 23, 2015 – 4:54 pm | 20 views
SSMMA’s 36th annual golf outing a steamy success!

The South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association wishes to thank all the golfers, dinner guests and participants who attended the association’s 36th annual golf outing on July 17, 2015 at Lincolnshire Country Club and Lincoln …

DCEO’s Jim Schultz visits the Green Manufacturing Partnership Employer Advisory Committee meeting

July 23, 2015 – 2:36 pm | 72 views

By Reggie Greenwood
Jim Schultz, Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and Andria Winters, Deputy Director, visited the Calumet Green Manufacturing Partnership Employer Advisory Committee meeting Thursday July 16th.  Over forty people including …

Morrison appointed to replace Gorman as Cook County commissioner

July 23, 2015 – 2:08 pm | 22 views
Sean Morrison

Sean Morrison, a security business owner from Palos Park, has been selected to replace former Republican Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth Gorman on the county board.
The 17th County Board District Republican committeemen voted to elect Morrison, …

July 31: Veterans workshop hosted by Congresswoman Robin Kelly

July 23, 2015 – 1:30 pm | 23 views
Veterans Workshop (3) Flyer

Congresswoman Robin Kelly is hosting a Veteran Workshop on Friday, July 31, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Calumet City Public Library, 660 Manistee Avenue, Calumet City. The event will feature panel discussions …

Guide to landlord incentives and rental property regulation now available

July 21, 2015 – 2:02 pm | 93 views
FINAL_MMC and SSMMA_Landlord Incentives_How to Guide_6 2 15-1

Growth in the rental housing market since the economic downturn has made it increasingly important for municipalities to adopt policies and tools that ensure the health of the region’s rental housing stock. The Metropolitan Mayors …