Child’s lemonade stand shut down for no permit

Credit: KCNC, Jennifer Knowles via CNN

Two boys selling lemonade for charity in Denver got their stand shut down because they didn’t have a permit.

"It was a beautiful weekend, beautiful weather, so we thought, ‘Why not have a lemonade stand?’" said Jennifer Knowles, the boys’ mother.

When Knowles helped her sons set up their first lemonade stand over the weekend, she thought it would be a lesson in entrepreneurship and charity.

But, she got an unexpected lesson, too.

"Someone complained about our lemonade stand," Knowles said.

It turns out, you need a permit to operate a lemonade stand in Denver. The city says it’s about health and safety, no matter the age of the operator.

However, in this case, competition may also be in play.

"We had never thought other lemonade vendors could feel threatened by our little kid lemonade stand," said Knowles.

The stand was set up right next to the Denver Arts Festival, and a lemonade vendor.

Knowles understood why someone would be upset, given the circumstances. The vendor was selling lemonade for $7 a glass versus their two cups for a dollar.

As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and that’s exactly what Knowles plans to do.

She plans to ask the city to waive permits in the future for kids’ lemonade stands when another isn’t nearby.

"In hindsight, we would have never set up where we did when we did, and we would have done it another time, and lesson learned," said Knowles.

She said her sons raised about $200 for charity before police shut the stand down.

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