Practical strategies are needed to bring the businesses back, one small business at a time.

HALTOM CITY, TX, February 20, 2024 /24-7PressRelease/ — In one of a continuing series of videos by Make Haltom City Thrive Again, founder and local business owner Ron Sturgeon talks about the city’s failure to work proactively with small businesses and cultivate the private investment that is so badly needed in the declining south and central areas of the city.

Sturgeon conservatively estimates that an average of fifty small businesses are turned away each year for issues that could probably be remedied with a little effort on the city’s part. In the video, he talks about a daycare that was turned away. Apparently, the property being considered had six parking spaces, while city regulation requires a minimum of seven for a daycare at that site. Rather than trying to work with the investor, perhaps by making existing spaces smaller in order to fit a seventh, the owner chose to go to another city.

According to the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA), the city’s unwillingness to do everything in its power to nurture small business growth is contributing to the ongoing spiral of decline and loss of tax revenue from these quarters. “The city quotes increased tax revenues, but that fails to count what was missed, and with property values up and other factors, all cities are seeing increased revenues.” Sturgeon says. “Declining population according to the latest census and increasing vacancies in the main corridors tell the true story of lost revenue,” he adds.

HUBA would specifically like to see targeted policies and regulations that would attract a variety of small businesses along the older corridors (e.g. Belknap, Denton Hwy, Carson, NE 28th Street). Successful policies would result in a stronger business community and a stronger tax base, making it possible for Haltom to pay competitive wages to key personnel (such as first responders) and improve infrastructure. A strong small business community would also attract more restaurants and might even make it possible for large grocery stores to return to these neighborhoods.

Ron believes that city leadership must make it clear to everyone involved that new businesses should be encouraged. “When somebody comes in and wants to open a business, we don’t say no. We tell them how we think they could do it…and/or what might be done to modify things in order to make it work.” He adds that if an applicant does get a “no,” they should also be given information on how to appeal the decision. Sturgeon says many operators contact him and recount how city staff told them that they can appeal or ask for a variance, but the current council isn’t inclined to grant such requests.

Sturgeon is something of an expert in this area and even authored a book about the issue. Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America’s Small Cities, The Critical Role Small Businesses Play in Bringing Back Jobs and Prosperity has numerous five-star ratings on Amazon. As part of the Make Haltom City Thrive Again movement, interested Haltom City residents can get a free copy of the book simply by reaching out to Ron at [email protected].

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 can 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 Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) wants to give members of Haltom City’s business community an advocate and to keep those businesses informed about issues that affect them. They want to make sure Haltom City is business friendly and nurtures small business growth, including automotive businesses in the industrial districts, and bring more restaurants including breweries and eventually a major grocery store to the city. New businesses and growth in existing businesses will create a stronger tax base which will allow the city to pay its first responders wages that are competitive with surrounding cities while improving Haltom City’s facilities and infrastructure. HUBA believes that the southern and central parts of the city need a revitalization plan, to prevent further degradation in those areas, and wants that to happen before the inner-city experiences increased crime and more blight. As retail and office uses are in decline, it’s more critical than ever to attract new businesses. They believe that such a plan requires a strong relationship and support of the business community. Anyone who owns a business in Haltom City is eligible to join HUBA. Dues are $20 annually or $50 for a lifetime membership, and membership is 100% confidential. To join, contact Joe Palmer at (682) 310-0591 or by email at [email protected]. Visit the group’s Facebook at Haltom United Business Alliance.

About Make Haltom City Thrive Again
Make Haltom City Thrive Again is a movement to return prosperity to the older parts of South and Central Haltom City by luring the small businesses that have left over the past decades back to Haltom City. A vibrant business community not only allows for greater employment and choice of goods and services, but also can ease the tax burden on residents. The movement is led by local entrepreneur and business owner Ron Sturgeon. For more on Sturgeon’s 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. HUBA is not a political action committee and does not endorse candidates. If/when Ron endorses candidates, he will do so on his own via the Make Haltom City Thrive Again organization.

For the original version of this press release, please visit here