Haltom United Business Alliance urges city leaders to recognize the value of business owner input when making policy decisions
HALTOM CITY, TX, September 29, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — In Haltom City, leadership has been focused on growth and prosperity in newer areas of the city, leaving residents and business owners in the older south and central areas behind. Years of poor decision-making and neglect have led to an ongoing spiral of decline with more and more businesses closing, a growing number of vacant buildings, and an obvious rise in crime. The city’s state of the city report barely mentions the older parts of the city, just all the new fire stations and city offices and the northern parts of the city.
In response, a group of small business owners got together in 2021 and formed the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA). For the past two years, HUBA has been urging city leadership to implement strategies that will spur growth and revitalization along the main corridors of Denton Highway, Carson, NE 28th Street, and Belknap. According to HUBA founder Ron Sturgeon, the group has put forth a number of reasonable ideas to help things turn around, many of which are inexpensive to implement and have been proven in other cities across the country.
Unfortunately, as made clear in one of a series of informational videos posted by the group, Haltom City leadership does not seem to be interested in what these important stakeholders have to say. “They’ve said in public hearings that if you don’t live in Haltom City you don’t have a seat at the table. If you’re a business owner that doesn’t own a residence in Haltom City, your opinion doesn’t matter.”
This is obviously a big disconnect. As pointed out by Sturgeon, “Most people don’t want the businesses in Haltom City to run the city, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t be pro-business,” and benefit from the business owner perspective. After all, business owners choose to invest vast sums of money in the city. They provide goods, services, and all-important employment opportunities as well. The city’s actions over the last few years have led to a 29% commercial vacancy rate on the main corridor, Denton Highway, south of Denton Highway, according to a third-party study the business group commissioned, visiting every building in the main corridors.
In response to the question “How do we achieve the goal of stopping the decline in the city?” Ron made his opinion clear. “We’re going to have to have a council that thinks it’s important to listen to the business community… Right now there’s no plan in Haltom City to bring more small businesses.” Clearly, Haltom City needs a City Council that will think about that. One of Ron’s favorite sayings is “a goal without a plan and a date is a dream,” adding, “The council has never discussed the declining parts of the city, much less asking for input or creating such a plan.”
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 [email protected]. Visit the group’s Facebook at Haltom United Business Alliance.
For the original version of this press release, please visit 24-7PressRelease.com here