A Kid Entrepreneur's Lemonade Stand Got Shut Down. So Denver Took Action.

Legislation is in the works.

Many young entrepreneurs get their first glimpse into the business world by opening up their own lemonade stand. Now, Denver is hoping to make that initial step a little easier for enterprising children by legalizing kids' lemonade stands in the city. 

Last week, Denver City Council members approved a bill that would allow families and their children to operate stands without city permits. According to The Denver Post, the legislation would allow anyone younger than 18 to sell lemonade, coffee or tea, whether it's iced or hot, in their neighborhood. The measure specifies that these stands cannot operate for more than 84 days a year and are also prohibited from selling too close to permitted food vendors. 

The move from the city council comes after a police officer made headlines for shutting down a children's lemonade stand in Denver's Stapleton neighborhood earlier this year. In June, Jennifer Knowles said a cop shut down a refreshments table she and her three boys had set up in a public park in the hopes of raising money for a boy in Indonesia. The officer reportedly told them that they needed three permits to operate the stand, including one that cost $100. 

Now, her story could be the catalyst for change. The city bill will return for a vote before the Denver City Council in the coming weeks, but the efforts won't necessarily stop there. State Sen. Angela Williams, a resident of Stapleton, got in touch with Knowles after the stand incident and has now started drafting a bill that could have statewide effects.  

Denver isn't the only city to pass legislation supporting the lemonade stand cause. A law in Austin, Texas has also drafted law on the matter while Colorado legislators are planning to introduce a similar proposal. 

As for Knowles, she's continuing to make lemons into lemonade. The Denver resident is now working with an agent to sell a book on her experience.

Cover image via Andrii Bicher.


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