Local Governments Struggle to Shutdown Lemonade Menace
If you run a business, not matter how small, you probably need a permit or license for it. Before you ask yourself if anyone would actually enforce a law against unlicensed blogging, ask yourself this question: am I cuter than a four year old?
You never know when police will enforce license requirements to the most absurd extent of the law. If you are less adorable than the girl inthis news report, you are not safe.
For those of you who didn’t watch the video, here’s a summary. Police in Coralville, Iowa shut down not one, but three lemonade stands run by children for failing to buy a temporary vendor permit. KCRG reports:
Police in Coralville shut down at least three lemonade stands run by children over RAGBRAI weekend. According to Dustin Krutsinger, police shut down his four-year-old daughters stand after just 30 minutes. Krutsinger said the officer told his wife, “this isn’t the first time I’ve had to do this.”
Krutsinger said his daughter was selling lemonade for 25 cents a glass, and had made less than $5. According to the city of Coralville, 4-year-old Abigail Krutsinger was in violation of a two day ordinance, which required all vendors to have permits when RAGBRAI rolled into town.
It seems that Coralville is not the only city struggling with the menace of unlicensed lemonade stands. Just 11 days later, police in Midway, Georgia shut down a stand run by 10 year old Sklylar Roberts and 14 year old Casity Dixon:
“We had told them, we understand you guys are young, but still, you’re breaking the law, and we can’t let you do it anymore. The law is the law, and we have to be consistent with how we enforce the laws,” Midway Police Chief Kelly Morningstar said.
By a city ordinance, the girls must have a business license, peddler’s permit, and food permit to set up shop, even on residential property. The permits cost $50 a day and a total of $180 per year. City officials said it’s their job to keep everyone safe and healthy, and there can be no exceptions to the rules.
“We were not aware of how the lemonade was made, who made the lemonade, of what the lemonade was made with, so we acted accordingly by city ordinance,” Chief Morningstar said.
This year wasn’t the only year to see crackdowns on lemonade stands. Police in Portland, Oregon notoriously shut down a 7-year-old’s operation last year. After community outrage, she was later granted a reprieve.
Let this be a friendly warning to you. Before you start selling something, no matter how small, do a little bit of research. Even little girls with pigtails get fined sometimes.