Local business alliance continues to advocate for changes to help revitalize Haltom City’s declining south and central areas.
HALTOM CITY, TX, September 22, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — A recent article in the Wall Street Journal talks about the need for cities to “renew themselves” to attract a new generation of people looking to live or work in today’s urban areas. According to the article, big American cities emptied when the pandemic first struck, and the closer you got to a city’s center, midtown, or downtown area, the emptier it looked. Even though the pandemic is now in the past, “…with hybrid work arrangements here to stay, many cities could be entering a perilous period.”
Over the past several years, the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) has been sounding the alarm and advocating for reasonable changes to help rebuild the small business communities in the south and central areas of the city. Why? Because research has made it clear that small businesses are absolutely essential when it comes to creating safe, successful, and livable urban neighborhoods. According to Joe Palmer, HUBA’s communication director, the city continues to tell prospective businesses when they turn them away that “the city wants to see retail in that location,” and another building stays vacant.
Unfortunately, Haltom City requires a mountain of paperwork and a lengthy public hearing process for many kinds of businesses to open. The current process only serves to discourage local entrepreneurs who can easily choose a nearby town for their endeavor. Said commercial broker Roger Smeltzer Jr. in a recent Facebook post, “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.”
“Having too many rules on business startups ends up discouraging all but the largest of businesses, while businesses with fewer resources and less money to invest choose locations in other cities where small business activity is encouraged and valued,” added HUBA founder Ron Sturgeon. Sturgeon once asked the members of the city council to ATTEMPT to fill out a site plan and application (using their own property) so that they would understand how daunting the current process can be. To his knowledge, not one council member even gave it a try. Also, he adds, “As long as the city continues to use its codes, ordinances and council approval as a weapon to control the uses, the situation isn’t going to improve.”
So what can be done about this problem? Sturgeon is now spearheading a campaign called “Make Haltom City Thrive Again (MHCTA)” in an effort to educate citizens about the need for change. “Haltom needs leaders who are willing to tackle the issues head on. The city council should create a Concept Plan which addresses planning, zoning, and start-up regulations in the south and central areas. Amazon isn’t going away, and while the city waits for retail to come back (which it’s not), small businesses, including services and automotive, are needed to help alleviate the pain.”
The MHCTA website actually has a draft Concept Plan which outlines a number of well-researched ideas for the city’s consideration. Says Ron, “Anyone who lives or works in Haltom City and is hoping for a brighter future for themselves, their children, and their community should consider getting involved.”
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.
About Make Haltom City Thrive Again
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.
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