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It seems clear that until we can get some new leadership, leaders who want to bring small businesses, things aren't going to change. ---Ron Sturgeon, Make Haltom City Thrive Again
HALTOM CITY, TX, October 28, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Fifty years ago, Ron Sturgeon was a homeless and penniless teenager living in Haltom City. He had inherited a VW bug when his father died, and he taught himself to repair it. Not long after, he launched his first business, a VW repair shop, in Haltom City.
Now a highly successful serial entrepreneur, business alliance founder and author of a new book on urban renewal, his tenth business book, Sturgeon believes in the city that gave him his start and wants to see it returned to its former level of prosperity.
"I think it's very odd that the current leaders of Haltom City are so resistant to ideas on how to improve and revitalize their aging corridors," Sturgeon said." It's a problem most older cities have, but most don't have someone to champion such an effort, and, for Haltom City, I am that person."
"I have only one motive, to make the city where I started my first business years ago better," said Sturgeon "This will be my legacy, making Haltom City thrive again, making it the best city in Tarrant County to own a small business, and the easiest city in which to start such a business."
Haltom City has a long way to go to achieve these goals, according to Sturgeon. The current Haltom City Council has been resistant to input and focused on new development and brining large distribution centers to the North side of town. "All the new centers and new development is great, but it does not help bring back the small businesses that will occupy the smaller spaces in older building along South and Central Haltom's main corridors," said Sturgeon. He adds "Current leadership have said many times those that own a business but don't live in the city don't get a seat at the table." He believes that's a big disconnect and a big part of the problem.
In addition, commercial realtors who choose where to show space to prospective small business startups and expansions, say they don't show space in Haltom City, except as a last resort, because Haltom City's restrictive table of uses and micromanagement by Haltom City Council members make it too difficult to get the businesses open in Haltom City, so they can collect their commissions.
"It's just easier for business owners to open in Fort Worth or North Richland Hills and so they do," said Sturgeon. To change that, Haltom City needs new members of Haltom City Council focused on making it comparatively easier to open a business in Haltom City than in other nearby cities.
"I assumed when I formed Haltom United Business Alliance a year ago, and the alliance presented a list of ideas that would cost the city nothing to implement, that would make it easier to open a business, the city would welcome that type of feedback," said Sturgeon. Instead, Sturgeon said, they ignored the ideas, sought to exclude business owners in Haltom City who live elsewhere and accused the business people making the suggestions of being motivated by personal gain.
"In their defense, none of our current council members have ever owned a business so they don't think like businesspeople. None of them has ever platted a property or filled out the forms necessary to apply for a conditional use permit for the simplest of businesses, like a dry cleaner," said Sturgeon.
"It seems clear that until we can get some new leadership, leaders who want to bring small businesses, things aren't going to change. Fortunately, God willing, I will be here to see that task completed," said Sturgeon. Sturgeon's campaign includes billboards throughout Tarrant County, as he seeks candidates for council and change in the city.
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 initiative.
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