The city of Porterville, California is now apologizing to a five-year-old girl after her family received a letter saying she needs a business license.
Last June, five-year-old Autumn wanted to buy herself a bike so she did what any entrepreneurial kid would do. She put up a lemonade stand.
Autumn’s mother Gabby Dehaas told our affiliate KMPH that she helped her daughter spread the word by posting about it on social media.
“It meant so much to know she earned her own money that mom and dad didn’t need to go buy her. She got to bring her own wallet and buy it herself and pay at the cash register,” DeHaas said.
By the end of the day, Autumn had raised more than enough money for her bike.
Autumn was in the lemonade business for less than 24 hours, but for some members of the community, that was enough to complain to the city to make her pay up.
In late October, Gabby Dehaas got a letter from the city of Porterville, California’s Finance Department saying she needed to pay for a business license for her daughter’s lemonade stand.
Porterville City Manager John Lollis says someone anonymously filed a complaint with the city about the stand.
“We got a few complaints about these stands over the summer,” he said. “Root beer float sales, too.”
The city of Porterville says the letter never should have been sent and city officials have since apologized to the family.
“We want our youth to be engaged and looking at business opportunities,” Lollis said.
Dehaas says through it all, her daughter learned an important life lesson.
“There’s always gonna be bitter people or bad people,” she said. “But there’s always gonna be good outweighing everybody.”