City Council of Holland, Michigan: Allow young people (under 18) to run a business with adult supervision
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City Shuts Down 13 Year Old Boy’s Hot Dog Stand & Now He’s Homeless
Nathan Duszynski, a 13-year-old boy who saved up $1,300 to purchase a hot dog cart and then was shut down by the city of Holland, Michigan, has now found himself homeless, along with his parents.
Gary North wrote about Duszynski at the end of July,
A 13-year-old mowed lawns to save up enough money to buy a hot dog cart. He got licensed. Then he tried to sell hot dogs. The city shut him down.
Two reasons. First, the good old boys who run local restaurants two decades ago got independent food vendors zoned out. Second, the teachers union got businesses banned for anyone under 18.
Sadly the boy was muscled out of a small business by larger businesses that were hand in hand with local government. The family was hoping that Nathan’s hot dog business would help them in a difficult time.
His mother, Lynette Johnson, has epilepsy and his stepfather, Doug Johnson, has multiple sclerosis. There illnesses have kept them from finding permanent, full-time work. The family receives about $1,300 a month in disability payments, Medicaid and food assistance. The family is having a hard time staying together as well. Nathan and his mother have been living at the Holland Rescue Mission. The father can’t stay with his family at the shelter because he has to take prescription narcotics for the pain he endures and the shelter does not allow those kinds of drugs in it.
Mackinac Center for Public Policy reports,
Nathan wanted to help out his family by selling hot dogs from a cart he bought with money he saved. He worked out an arrangement with the owner of a local sporting goods store to sell hot dogs in the parking lot. The owner of the store thought it would be a great way to attract customers and even offered Nathan a sales commission if he got people to rent his motorized bicycles.
The city of Holland, however, shut down the business 10 minutes after it opened, informing Nathan it was in the city’s commercial district where food carts not connected to downtown brick-and-motor restaurants are prohibited. The Mackinac Center’s coverage of the issue has drawn national attention.
Last week, Nathan and his family made an appeal to the Holland City Council. Mayor Kurt Dykstra defended the city’s ordinance, saying it was to protect downtown restaurant owners, who asked that the “success of the downtown district not be infringed upon by those who don’t share in the costs of maintaining the attractiveness of that space.”
Is this not a shame on the city of Holland? The mission has stepped up and provided something by way of charity, which is what the Church is supposed to do, not government. The local government of Holland should reconsider their unethical and completely unfair law regarding Nathan’s hot dog cart. Young entrepreneurs should be rewarded for their endeavors, not punished.
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