Forcing Kids Out of the Lemonade Business

Over the weekend, I was served the same Country Time promoted tweet on numerous occasions. I scanned the tweet each time but never engaged with it or took it seriously. Basically, the social media advertisement explained that kids selling lemonade all across the country are being forced to shut their stands down.

I initially didn’t give much attention to the @CountryTime tweet that said lemonade stands were being forced to shut down.

I brushed it off as a gimmick. However, this curious case was legitimized earlier today when I saw a tweet from CNN. The tweet linked to an article detailing that children’s lemonade stands are indeed being “forced out of business” because the young entrepreneurs lack permits.

Once I saw the CNN tweet about the issue, I started to take it seriously.

The article also explained that Country Time, in a gesture of good will and sound public relations, is standing up for those boys and girls impacted by silly regulations. The company put together a team of lawyers called Legal-Ade to fight back against counties and cities that are trying to remove driveway and street corner sugary drink stands. Legal-Ade will pay up to $300 to cover the fees of those dedicated children who actually purchased permits after they were told to close up shop.

I understand that many of these lemonade stands don’t meet health code standards and might present safety issues, but really? In a day and age where kids are pulled in so many negative directions, how can we slap them on the wrist for selling lemonade? Not only does maintaining a stand keep our youth out of trouble, it teaches so many worthwhile life lessons — customer service, supply and demand, preparation, money handling, and so much more.

But my biggest issue with telling the kids to go back inside is it totally neglects the spirit of permit laws. You would think that applying for a permit to sell a product falls on the shoulders of adults. You know, the ones who own a business and will be selling goods to the general public in a commercialized area. To think that a kid who wants to pass a summer afternoon setting up a lemonade stand should be responsible for securing a permit is ridiculous.

What disappoints me is that the people enforcing this crackdown were once kids themselves. Now I can’t guarantee this, but I am guessing during their childhoods they probably sold lemonade at least once or twice. Did they have to pay $300 for the right to sell lemon flavored water out of their parents’ driveway? I doubt it.

I hope this trend stops. Not even the ripest lemons are more sour than depriving a kid of running a lemonade stand. Bravo to Country Time for intervening. Don’t Blink.

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