Authors Smith and Sturgeon discuss real estate and the key role it plays in Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America’s Small Cities, 2nd Edition

HALTOM CITY, TX, August 29, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — The 2023 edition of Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America’s Small Cities includes seven new chapters that explain form-based codes, identify impediments to business growth, highlight the importance of real estate, and expound on other related topics:

• Form-Based Codes: What They Are and Why Cities Should Consider Adopting Them
• Impediments to Small Business Starting & Growing and Keys to Returning Commerce and Prosperity
• Failed Revitalization Ideas
• A Form-Based Code Success Story: Mansfield, Texas
• Understanding Real Estate: A Key to Revitalization
• Choosing, Sizing, and Prioritizing Your Initiative: Strategic Thinking
• Ready to be the Evangelist and Change Your City? It can be a Lonely Assignment

In Chapter 20, authors Gregory Smith and Ron Sturgeon focus on small businesses and the major role they play when it comes to inner-city revitalization efforts. The chapter was written because “many of the readers of the first edition of this book wanted a greater understanding of how real estate investments work. Government employees aren’t trained to think in terms of return on investment or made aware of the time it takes to get their money back. But they should be thinking in these terms to at least benchmark and prioritize their expenditures.”

First, Smith and Sturgeon expound on the process followed by outside investors who will visit the city and perform the steps involved in the due diligence process. They are quick to point out that investors considering Haltom City (or any city in similar circumstance) might be wary of property in declining corridors because when nearby owners don’t maintain their investments, property values and potential rental incomes declines. Real estate that is allowed to sit vacant or abandoned is a further drag. With occupancy and rental income at risk, financing can also be a challenge.

Quoting from a recent Wall Street Journal article “The Future of Our Empty Downtowns,” Smith and Sturgeon claim that cities will be vying to attract “younger, scrappier” firms and people in future. Their advice? “Cities must learn to compete” and have “innovative fast-moving plans to improve.” Making it easier to renovate existing property and open small businesses are important steps in the right direction.

Author Ron Sturgeon feels strongly that the growth of small businesses must be prioritized in order to reverse inner-city decline in his hometown of Haltom City, Texas. In 2021, he founded the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA), a group which represents small businesses. Last year, he began a movement called Make Haltom City Thrive Again which calls attention to the issues and advocates for city council members who’ll work to revitalize Haltom’s declining corridors. Personally, he’d love to see the city become “the friendliest” in Tarrant County for small businesses.

As part of the Make Haltom City Thrive Again campaign, Ron will give a copy of the book (free-of-charge) to any Haltom City resident or business owner who requests one. To get a free copy, simply send an e-mail with your name and address to

About Ron Sturgeon
Ron Sturgeon, “Mr. Mission Possible,” combines 40+ years of entrepreneurship with a deep resume in consulting. When his dad died and Ron had no place to live, 17-year-old Ron began a career in entrepreneurship which led to his building a chain of salvage yards sold to Ford in 1999. After his repurchase of Greenleaf from Ford and subsequent resale to Schnitzer, Ron became a real estate investor. He has 1,500+ tenants and loves small businesses. As a consultant, Ron shares his expertise in strategic planning, capitalization, compensation, growing market share, providing field-proven, high-profit, best practices well ahead of the curve. He has recently published his tenth book, Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America’s Small Cities, and is leading a grassroots effort to bring prosperity back to the city where his business career began. He was recently a finalist in Ft. Worth Inc’s Entrepreneur of Excellence competition.

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 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 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.

For the original version of this press release, please visit here