Haltom City businessman explains the benefits of small business in aging inner-city areas

HALTOM CITY, TX, November 14, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — In a video series created to help voters make an informed choice in the next election, political consultant Craig Ownby interviews local entrepreneur Ron Sturgeon about the challenges faced in Haltom City.

In Supporter of Small Businesses, Ron makes a point of confirming that “the struggle is real” for small business owners and goes on to talk a bit about the early days of running his own businesses when he’d bring his kids to the junkyard on a Sunday to get enough cash to buy groceries or would have to use a credit card to cover payroll.

Sturgeon wants to see the City Council adopt changes that would greatly encourage small business growth in Haltom City’s south and central areas. Current codes are unreasonably restrictive and public hearings are needed for many types of businesses to open, a process that is extremely time-consuming with no guarantee of success.

As a result, commercial realtors often don’t want to show space in Haltom City, especially as nearby North Richland Hills and Fort Worth both allow businesses to get approval quickly and start doing business right away. Commenting on Facebook, Real Estate Broker Roger Smeltzer, wrote: “I can’t tell you how many leases and buyers I’ve had to steer away from Haltom City over unnecessary city requirements not imposed by North Richland Hills or even Fort Worth.”

Adds Sturgeon, “There are only a finite number of new businesses opening in Tarrant County, so if they’re looking at our city, we need to get them, because if we don’t get them, North Richland Hills or another sister city will.”

Sturgeon explains the benefit of small business tax revenue and points out that small businesses generate more revenue per square foot than larger businesses. He is careful to explain that for the south/central areas of Haltom City, it’s even more important that steps be taken to encourage businesses since vacant buildings are also a major deterrent. Business owners “don’t want a boarded up place on the right and a boarded up place on the left, so we’ve kind of got a conundrum here… we’re going to have to make it especially interesting and advantageous to come here… and once we start getting a few of those, then a few more will come.”

Sturgeon is the founder of the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) and more recently started the Make Haltom City Thrive Again (MHCTA) campaign to spread the word about the need for change. Based on his years of experience and the research he’s done, he’s convinced that the only way to make Haltom City thrive is to bring the businesses back.

If you’re a Haltom City resident or business owner, be sure to check out the Make Haltom City Thrive Again website. The full video series can be found on the site’s video page.

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 Make Haltom City Thrive Again
The 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.

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 HUBAgrp@gmail.com. Visit the group’s Facebook at Haltom United Business Alliance.

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