Will city leadership take action to ease parking mandates and help bring small businesses back to south and central Haltom City?

HALTOM CITY, TX, April 19, 2024 /24-7PressRelease/ — Since its inception, the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) has been asking Haltom City’s leadership to address ongoing decline in the south and central areas of the city by tackling the problem from all sides. According to HUBA Communication Director Joe Palmer, “As things currently stand, investors and entrepreneurs are faced with one obstacle after another if interested in buying or leasing a vacant building for a new use.”

To cite just one example, old parking mandates are still being applied to new business ventures, a nation-wide problem that was highlighted during a recent Strong Towns Podcast. Touting Minnesota’s “first-in-the-nation bill to eliminate minimum parking mandates statewide,” Strong Towns President Chuck Marohn explained the problem in laymen’s terms: “A person has an idea for a small business… they go and they find a building, they develop their business plan… whatever they need to get off the ground and then they go down to city hall and they ask for their permit and they’re told everything is great except you need to provide 5 more parking spots (or) 8 more parking spots (or) 12 more parking spots to make this work. Why? It’s in an existing building, an existing neighborhood, my clients are gonna walk, they’re gonna bike, they’re gonna get here other ways, why do I have to do this? ‘That’s what the rules are.’ And so, in order to put that business up, you have to buy an adjacent business, tear it down, to build a parking lot. This is unworkable and it literally kills entrepreneurship and small business innovation every day in every city, big and small.”

The members of HUBA have been urging Haltom City leadership to ease parking mandates, even if only for older areas of the city, in order to help bring small businesses back to south and central Haltom City. Some members would also like to see Texas follow Minnesota’s lead by repealing parking minimums statewide to spur redevelopment of the state’s growing number of vacant, unused properties.

So far, every concern raised or suggestion offered by HUBA has been met with apathy or outright dismissal by Haltom City Council members. Said HUBA founder Ron Sturgeon, “Current city officials are not even willing to publicly acknowledge the growing vacancy rates and obvious decline along the older corridors of Haltom City.”

In response, Sturgeon recently launched the Make Haltom City Thrive Again campaign to help educate citizens and business owners, encourage advocacy, and stress the importance of voting in local elections. “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) 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 HUBAgrp@gmail.com. Visit the group’s Facebook at Haltom United Business Alliance.

About Make Haltom City Thrive Again
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.

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