Kennedale’s Bureaucracy Stifles Small Business Growth

The Kennedale Alliance of Business Owners (KABO) is sounding the alarm over the city’s apparent lack of support for small businesses. According to Joe Palmer, KABO’s Executive Director, the city’s bureaucratic red tape and excessive regulations are deterring entrepreneurs from establishing their ventures in Kennedale.

Palmer urges citizens to question council candidates about their commitment to fostering a business-friendly environment during the ongoing elections. ‘I hope citizens will ask council candidates if they are sincerely interested in bringing more small businesses to the city, and if they are willing to insist city staff make that a priority,’ he says.

A recent case involving a tire shop seeking to open in an existing automotive repair facility highlights the challenges faced by small businesses in Kennedale. Despite no change in the property’s intended use, the tenant was initially denied a certificate of occupancy (CO) by city staff. After months of negotiations and costly improvements mandated by the city, a temporary CO was finally issued five months after the initial application, with the final CO granted a year later.

Ron Sturgeon, the property owner, recounts the ordeal, stating, ‘It became obvious after the meeting, that the city intended to throw up as many roadblocks as possible to prevent this business from opening.’ The city’s demands included screening the parking lot, adding landscaping, providing manufacturer’s specifications for automotive lift bolts, dictating tire rack types, and requiring a fire alarm system – expenses that would have been prohibitive for a small business.

Sturgeon emphasizes the need for a shift in the city’s approach, saying, ‘The purpose of city government was never to control commerce and economics. Their mission should be to serve their residents and business community, not to use the code as a weapon to prevent new businesses from opening or existing businesses from operating.’

Palmer suggests that the city should track and follow up on all business inquiries to ensure a more welcoming environment. He also encourages other small businesses in Kennedale to share their experiences and offer suggestions for improving the city’s hospitality towards entrepreneurs. KABO, which advocates for the local business community, is open to membership for any Kennedale business owner or employee. Visit to learn more.

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