Newly chosen Executive Director of SSMID talks future plans for South Business District

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 6:20 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2022 at 6:21 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - A program that’s improved several areas of Iowa City is now flourishing in the south district. It’s called SSMID, or Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District. Under the new leadership. the South District could see greater confidence for business owners there.

Tasha Lard actively supports small business owners across Iowa.

“I have customers who come here from Johnson, Washington, Linn County and I advise them to all put their business cards here,” she tells TV-9 as she shows off a wall of business cards from others in the area.

Being a small business owner herself, running JD Beauty Supply in Iowa City’s South District, she knows how important it is to advertise and bring in new customers.

“I know that the SSMID is going to continue to build the south district as it has been for years,” said Lard.

The SSMID aims to improve and expand the business district here.

Angie Jordan has been working with businesses like JD Beauty Supply for years. Now that she has been chosen as the district’s executive director, she can take her efforts a step further in support of the place she calls home.

“That can be anything from advocacy work, going to city council meetings, checking out different ordinances, tweaking them. To actually being on site during a market and making sure all the vendors and all the shoppers have what they need and that it’s a safe space,” said Jordan.

Those markets or events are already taken care of thanks to the SSMID. Commercial property owners in the area pay a self-imposed tax.

That’s where business owners like Lard hope to use that money to add more signage to simply advertise what’s available, but also more businesses themselves.

“We’ve already started the process of having more businesses, but to have more businesses actually come over to this side of town is something that we look forward to and we’re welcoming every day especially with the SSMID,” said Lard.

The South District SSMID, the area highlighted here, will last through the next five years. Once it’s done, there will be opportunity for a re-petition to continue.