HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (6/11/12) – For most of us, our first experience with entrepreneurship would probably be receiving that first quarter, sitting behind our first lemonade stand. Who could forget the giddy excitement of setting it up, the newfound responsibility while running it, and the thrill of seeing your hard effort turned into tangible profit?
Recently, the United States government has been looking at these innocent business ventures as capitalist ventures in need of regulation. In some municipalities across the country, lemonade stands and bake sales are being regulated by requiring parents and their children to obtain permits to set up shop, and sometimes, banning sales altogether.
Most of the stands shut down were in close proximity to large events or on public property where other venders are required to obtain a business license, or food permit.
Recently, in Coralville, Iowa police stepped in and shut down the lemonade stand of 4-year-old Abigail Krstinger. On the same day, not too far away, mother Bobbie Nelson’s children’s lemonade stand was shut down as well. It was reported that if the children wanted to sell the lemonade, a permit would run them $400, as was paid by other nearby venders selling food and drinks during the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI).
A little further south, down in Midway, Georgia police shut down a lemonade stand run by three young girls who were raising money towards a water park they wanted to donate to. Police told the three girls that they needed a business license, a peddler’s permit, and a food permit to operate their lemonade stand. The cost for such permits would have run the girls $50 per day or $180 per year each.
Parents are even being slapped with fines. In Bethesda, Maryland parents were issued $500 fines for allowing their kids to run an unlicensed lemonade stand near the U.S. Open golf tournament. The children had plans to donate 50 percent of their collected proceeds to a charity for pediatric cancer. The fines were later waived due to the local uproar that quickly followed in the community.
These seemingly isolated incidents have been cropping up all across the country over the last couple of years. In New York two 13-year-olds were shut down by local police for selling baked goods in a public park. In Appleton, Wisconsin two young girls selling lemonade and cookies had their stand shut down as well. The duo had been setting up their lemonade stand once a year for the last six or seven years, but, due to a new city ordinance, were unable to continue setting up shop near a local annual car show that takes place near their house.
Is the problem police shutting down the lemonade stands of children, or is it something larger perhaps? Should the issue of fine-tuning these business licensing regulations be addressed? If one person needs a permit to sell snacks outside of an event such as the U.S. Open, then everyone should be required to have a permit to do the same, no matter their age. Should there be an age defined to which these laws apply? If there isn’t, then police are simply doing their job. Where does one draw the line, unless it is specified?
Glenn Beck has officially launched National Lemonade Stand and Bake Sale Hug-A-Thon Day on Wednesday, June the 13th, as a nationwide protest against current regulations.
To support this movement you can join others across the nation and participate, by either setting up a lemonade stand of your own or visiting those set up in your community.
“Municipalities all across America have been passing laws making it illegal to feed the homeless and have also been shutting down the charity oriented lemonade stands and bake sales of children,” said Hopkins County Magistrate Chris Toney. “That is not the America we know. When my daughter heard my wife Kim and I talking about this, she decided she wanted to have a lemonade stand. So, on Wednesday June 13, 2012, we are going to have a lemonade stand from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at 28 Court Street in Madisonville. All proceeds will be donated to the Christian Food Bank of Hopkins County. We are going to have a fun day participating in a classical American tradition, and at the same time, help raise funds to provide food to those who need a helping hand. I will tell you, it is really exciting seeing so many people putting their support behind this project.”
“I want to set up a lemonade stand because they are fun, kids like doing them and the money is going to help people,” explains Toney’s 8-year-old daughter Emily.
To support Emily and the Christian Food Bank of Hopkins County, make sure to stop by Emily’s Lemonade Stand at 28 Court Street between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. this Wednesday.
Flyer created by Kaye Bowles
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