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The best way, really the only way, to get it done is to create the conditions that will make starting or expanding a small business here make sense. ---Ron Sturgeon, HUBA & MHCTA Founder
HALTOM CITY, TX, October 19, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ -- When prosperity comes back to South and Central Haltom City, it will arrive gradually as small businesses open one at a time.
Local leaders, such as members of Haltom City Council and Haltom's City Manager, play an important role in any effort to revitalize. What they do (and don't do) can help create conditions favorable for small businesses of various kinds to start and expand in spaces along Haltom City's main corridors.
What could city leaders do to help create conditions favorable for small businesses?
• Build a new brand for the city that gives businesses a compelling reason to choose to locate in Haltom City instead of Fort Worth or North Richland Hills. The city could create a new brand if it does not want to be known as an automotive city any longer.
• Revisit the table of uses to try to make it comparatively easier to start a variety of kinds of small businesses in Haltom City than in nearby cities with which it competes. Haltom United Business Alliance offered a set of proposed changes to the use table to accomplish this goal.
• Create a brand-based overlay district covering the main corridors and relax rules, such as parking requirements, to make it easier for businesses to start in these zones. Be creative in allowing long vacant properties leeway in meeting the requirements so that they can get tenants. Consider fire alarms and other alternatives for buildings that do not have fire suppression sprinkler systems.
• Try a form-based code that makes transitioning between uses simpler and would spur new development in the overlay districts. Mansfield did a form-based code for its historic downtown and already has four new projects underway.
• Recognize that retail is not coming back and think about making a realistic plan to backfill empty spaces with service businesses. A recent Wall Street Journal article discussed the ways bigger cities are competing for new residents and new businesses considering trends like work from home and other changes brought on by Covid.
• Begin to track inquiries from entrepreneurs wanting to start businesses in Haltom City and see where potential businesses drop out of the development funnel. Take action to fix issues so more businesses get opened here.
• Take HUBA's offer to mentor business owners who find they must complete a CUP to open in Haltom City. Having the help of a mentor could get more businesses open here, a win for the city and for residents of South and Central Haltom.
"Haltom City, TX, can thrive again if local leaders begin to try to create conditions that are favorable to small business formation," said Haltom United Business Alliance Communications Director Joe Palmer.
"There just isn't enough public money to pay the hundreds of millions of dollars that it will take to bring revitalization to all the troubled parts of Haltom City. The best way, really the only way, to get it done is to create the conditions that will make starting or expanding a small business here make sense," said HUBA Founder and Small Business Activist Ron Sturgeon. He recently launched a campaign to revitalize the city, supported with billboards and a web site, MakeHaltomCityThriveAgain.com.
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 has seen a decline in small businesses, especially automotive businesses. The city is healthy financially, with median household income growing around 8% in the past year. Haltom City has an opportunity for continued growth through undeveloped land and many vacant buildings, especially in major corridors close to the city's center. The city has good staff and a city manager who is interested in seeing more businesses come to Haltom City, but they can only do as directed by City Council.
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, and bring more restaurants including breweries and 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, its 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
The 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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