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Signs back in business along 95th Street

On days when business was slow, Oak Lawn salon owner Nancy Koss would advertise a special on a temporary sign in front of her business along 95th Street.

But temporary signs were banned by the village board in January 2012 after former Mayor Dave Heilmann complained they were popping up all over the village and some were unsightly.

That restriction was reversed at the June 12 village board meeting after several small business owners complained the inability to use temporary signs hurt their business.

Businesses now can display one temporary sign during business hours. Businesses owners must secure a permit to display the sign and provide a certificate of insurance to indemnify the village because the signs are on village property, village attorney Paul O’Grady said.

Additionally, the signs cannot be displayed during inclement weather, he said.

The change was good news for business owners.

“The (sign restriction was) having a devastating effect on my business,” said Koss, owner of Nancy Koss Salon and Spa, 5401 W. 95th St. “I know I am not alone in this.”

Koss said she used a temporary sign to advertise $10 haircuts performed by a stylist in training. The promotion would often generate new clients for the salon and the stylist, she said.

“Our paychecks are being affected,” Koss said.

Kathy Kampenga, owner of the Craft Show Store, 5370 W. 95th St., said her business is down 20 percent since the temporary signs were restricted.

“We need to have that advertising,” Kampenga said.

Michelle Williams, of First Midwest Bank, said the bank used temporary signs to promote a variety of financial offerings and services.

“It’s very different for us because we don’t have a marque,” said Williams, who also serves as first vice president of the Oak Lawn Chamber of Commerce.

Glen Kato of Cusack Insurance said temporary signs are needed to attract the thousands of drivers who travel 95th Street each day.

“It’s very important to capture this traffic,” said Kato, a former chamber president. He added that window signs and displays do not capture drivers’ attention.

The board approved the amended sign ordinance by a 5 to 1 vote after rejecting Trustee Terry Vorderer’s proposal to send the proposal to the legislative committee for further review.

“The businesses need our support. They need it now,” Trustee Mike Carberry (6th) said.



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