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We don't have a single member of Haltom City Council with experience running a small business, and part of the reason HUBA exists is to help bring that perspective to local policymakers.
HALTOM CITY, TX, March 04, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ -- For decades, small businesses have been leaving Haltom City, and many new ones have chosen to locate in nearby cities that are more welcoming.
"Drive Denton Highway and you'll see a lot of vacant commercial properties," said a local business owner and longtime observer of Haltom City politics. The business owner, who asked that his name not be used because he feared retribution from the city, has joined HUBA, a group started to promote greater growth and opportunity for Haltom City and to represent the interests of Haltom City's small businesses and blue-collar employers.
"The business closings are part of a trend," said the Haltom businessman who has been operating the same business in the city for over 48 years. "It began in the late 1990s but has picked up as some local politicians have tried to micromanage Haltom City's small businesses and to use planning and zoning to drive out many kinds of small businesses," he said.
"Haltom city is over 55% Hispanic and Asian, yet there is no diversity in the council members, and those folks use a lot of automotive services, which Haltom City has been restricting for over 20 years," he added.
Haltom United Business Alliance Member Ron Sturgeon, a local real estate developer and serial entrepreneur who started his first business in Haltom City almost 50 years ago, added this assessment: "You expect the business climate to ebb and flow, but Haltom City is as business unfriendly right now as it has been in my 48 years here, especially for many small businesses and auto-related businesses."
"Haltom City's business unfriendly policies and attitude have contributed a lot to the vacancies that add nothing to our tax base and deprive Haltom City's people of jobs close to home with the small businesses they patronize and work at," said Sturgeon.
As a recent example, Sturgeon watched a Haltom City Council member, Marian Hilliard, who overruled city staff to unexpectedly add rules for food trucks operating at the new Tarrant Events Center, a venue for weddings and corporate events.
The new rules, among other things, specify how many sinks food trucks must have, where they can park and when they can use their generators, because she personally didn't like food trucks, even mentioning they might compete with local restaurants. "These are business decisions and demonstrate the lack of business knowledge at the council level, and the unreasonable restrictions the council and zoning committees put in place as they try to micromanage," said Sturgeon.
Drew Weakley, owner of a pawn shop in Haltom City and Executive Director of HUBA, says, "We don't have a single member of Haltom City Council with experience running a small business, and part of the reason HUBA exists is to help bring that perspective to local policymakers. In addition, the city council does not have a single Hispanic member."
"Haltom City Council will soon hold hearings on the 10-year comprehensive land use plan and HUBA can add to that discussion by expressing the perspective of business owners and blue-collar employers, and by advocating for Haltom City's small businesses in those discussions," said Weakley.
"Haltom City isn't Southlake," said Weakley. "Our local leaders should not use the planning and zoning process to pick winners and losers and should not be continuing the bad regulatory policies that have driven good business out and made local businesspeople rightly perceive that Haltom City is not friendly to business."
Weakley added, "Haltom City Council members should not be trying to write ordinances that protect some businesses from legitimate competition or letting their personal dislikes become pet projects to put in regulations so burdensome that some types of new businesses can't even get started in Haltom City."
HUBA is building its membership and wants to hear from you if you own a business in Haltom City. Membership in HUBA is completely confidential. To get in touch with HUBA, contact Drew Weakley at (817) 773-8550 or email [email protected].
About Haltom City
Haltom City is a medium-sized city between Dallas and Fort Worth in Tarrant County, TX. The city is diverse and majority working class, with a growing population that is approximately 10% Asian-American and 45% Hispanic. Haltom City benefits from being only minutes from both DFW Airport and Downtown Fort Worth, with direct access to major highways including I-820 and SH-121. Small businesses that have historically provided products, services, and jobs to residents included a once thriving automotive industry. The city is healthy financially, with median household income growing around 8% in the past year. Haltom City has opportunity for continued growth through undeveloped land and many vacant buildings, especially in major corridors close to the city's center.
About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom City is a city between Dallas and Fort Worth in Tarrant County, TX. Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) exists to give members of Haltom City's business community an advocate and to keep those businesses informed about issues that affect them. Anyone who owns a business in Haltom City is eligible to join. Dues are $20 annually or $50 for a lifetime membership and membership is 100% confidential. To join, contact Andrew Weakley at (682) 310-0591 or by email at [email protected]. Visit the group's Facebook at Haltom United Business Alliance.
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