Black Market Lemonade

Lemonade stands are about as American as apple pie and baseball. Kids all over the country set up their stands hoping to earn a little spending money. Often, this is their first experience being an entrepreneur. We can all imagine the pride and joy kids feel from selling lemonade, because we used to be those kids.

The shocking fact is that the lemonade stands are illegal here in Pennsylvania. Currently, kids are required to get the proper permits before setting up their lemonade stands. In fact, all over the country, lemonade stands are regulated by permits, and even business licenses.

Thankfully, the Pennsylvania General Assembly recognizes this absurdity. Rep. Gerald Mullery has proposed a bill that would eliminate the permit requirement. With bipartisan support, House Bill 1744 has 34 co-sponsors.

In a nation built on freedom and entrepreneurship, the idea of requiring children to get permits for their lemonade stands is antithetical to the American dream. Lemonade stands are often kids’ first taste of owning and operating a business, and that should be encouraged. After all, 47% of workers in the commonwealth are employed at a small business according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Currently, there is a national campaign to deregulate lemonade stands spearheaded by Country Time, the go-to lemonade mix for children everywhere. Today, only 16 other states have deregulated kids’ lemonade stands, and with HB 1744 the commonwealth could become the 17th.

Our friends at the Libertas Institute went a step further. Understanding that other minor-operated businesses like snow shoveling, baby sitting, and lawn mowing were also under threat, they helped pass a broad-based law to free these enterprises from government regulation.

Rep. Gerald Mullery has proposed an important piece of legislation, but what about helping adult-owned businesses throughout the commonwealth?

A Pennsylvania that is better for businesses is a better Pennsylvania for all her citizens. The General Assembly has legislation that could go a long way toward helping our young entrepreneurs grow up to establish their own permanent business. House Bill 507 and Senate Bill 5 ensure we understand the negative impact of new, proposed regulation and Senate Bill 116 limits state spending growth and the need for future tax hikes.

Next summer, we look forward to all the legal lemonade stands, and hopefully more opportunities for all Pennsylvanians to flourish.