Fast-growing alliance is evidence of the need for the city to build stronger relationships with local businesspeople
HALTOM CITY, TX, February 07, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) was founded in early 2021 and has continued to gain members each month. HUBA communicates with its members about issues affecting the business community, gives them advice on matters related to dealing with the city and continues to give the city ideas about how to grow the business community.
The current Haltom City Council has never acknowledged the existence of the business alliance and has made it clear that its members believe that businesses should have no say in ordinances or other interactions the city has with local businesses.
“The business alliance is growing because local businesspeople don’t feel they are being heard by the city or that their issues are being given any attention, and some feel outright disenfranchised.” says Ron Sturgeon, a founding member of HUBA. Adding to the tension with business owners, a senior city employee, Jayson Steele, bullies and calls any person or business owner names on Facebook, if they show any support for revitalizing the city. Jayson brags that he created his position in the city as community health specialist that reports directly to the city manager.
“Haltom City Council should make sure it listens to the business community and involves them in workshops for new ordinances.” Sturgeon also believes that Haltom City Council should acknowledge and discuss in public hearings the ideas that HUBA has tendered to the city to build a stronger business tax base.” An increase in the business tax base would allow residents to pay less tax and businesses to pay more,” said Joe Palmer, Director of Communications for HUBA.
Palmer insists that HUBA members are not overly concerned with city taxes; instead, they want doing businesses to be easier, and they want to stop the decline in the corridors in the southern and central parts of the city, which affects the city’s ability to attract newcomers and the businesses’ ability to get additional customers.
Palmer notes these declining corridors caused by the current Haltom City Council and past city councils, also limit the city’s ability to get a grocery store and attract new restaurants in these areas.
Sturgeon points out the city officials are quick to talk up all the development on the new north side of town, including restaurants and large distribution centers that they have brought in. “These are great initiatives that help Haltom City, but there is no reason the city can’t also work on bringing more small businesses to the southern and central parts of Haltom City because that is what will revitalize them.”
Instead of a plan to bring in more small businesses, the city has put its faith in a tax increment reinvestment zone (TIRZ). A TIRZ is a 30-year plan to pay for public infrastructure for new businesses. None of the money raised by a TIRZ can be used to rehab a vacant building for a new tenant, for instance.
“The reality is that Haltom City needs hundreds of millions in private investment to bring businesses back,” says Sturgeon. “It needs private investors to fix up all buildings and make the corridors bustle again, and that will only happen when tenants can be induced to start or expand small businesses and rent space,” he adds.
The city’s TIRZ did not even include Northeast 28th Street, which is by everyone’s definition the area in greatest need of revitalization. It has been growing more decrepit ever since Haltom City Council tried to run the small car dealers out of business in the early 2000 with no plan for what businesses might occupy those small lots that were formerly car dealers.
HUBA members hope to see new Haltom City Council members elected who will want to interface with small businesses and who will make Haltom City thrive again bringing more commerce to the declining corridors.
Sturgeon has started a campaign to bring the small business back. To build support for revitalization, he has started a campaign with a billboard on 121 that says, “Make Haltom City Thrive Again; Time for a Change.” The billboard points to a website with a detailed plan for attracting the private investment necessary to return prosperity to the older parts of Haltom City. Learn more by visiting MakeHaltomCityThriveAgain.com.
About Haltom City
Haltom City is a diverse, majority working-class city located between Dallas and Fort Worth in Tarrant County, TX. Haltom City is minutes from both the DFW Airport and Downtown Fort Worth with direct access to major highways including I-820 and SH-121. Due to an outdated and restrictive use matrix that discourages new business and deters growth, several areas of Haltom City have seen a decline in small businesses which provided goods and services and were a significant source of jobs, including the once-thriving automotive industry. However, Haltom City has the opportunity to reverse this trend and should prioritize development of inner-city land and vacant buildings, particularly in the major corridors close to the city’s center. The city is financially healthy with a capable manager and staff who would like to see diverse business development occur and need the support of the City Council to make it happen.
About Make Haltom City Thrive Again
The Make Haltom City Thrive Again website offers information and resources about its purpose and goals. For more on Sturgeon’s personal ideas and background, check out his book Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America’s Small Cities and watch the videos on his Facebook page. Ron is also the founder of the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) which represents existing business interests in Haltom City and promotes growth of diverse businesses as well. HUBA is not a political action committee and does not endorse candidates. If/when Ron endorses candidates, he will do so on his own with the Make Haltom City Thrive Again organization.
About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) is a group of business owners dedicated to representing existing business interests in Haltom City and promoting the growth of diverse businesses as well. Innovative strategies are needed to create a strong tax base and enhance quality of life for residents, city employees, and business owners. All Haltom City business owners are eligible to join HUBA. For more information, contact Joe Palmer at (682) 310-0591 or by email at [email protected] or visit the group’s Facebook page at Haltom United Business Alliance.
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