Gabby Dehaas wanted to teach her young daughter the value of a dollar.
So over the summer, little Autumn, who was set to start kindergarten in the fall, set up a lemonade stand in her Porterville driveway. She sold a cup of lemonade for $1, candy for $1 and “snacks” for 50 cents.
By June, Autumn earned enough money on her own to buy herself a bike.
Dehaas took to Facebook to share how proud she was of her daughter.
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“She hosted a lemonade stand and earned all her own money so she could buy a bike all by HERSELF,” Dehaas said. “Glad she is learning hard work and a value of a dollar.”
Autumn picked out a bright fuchsia bike with electric blue rims.
Months later, Dehaas received a letter from the city of Porterville. The envelope included an application to buy a business license to cover the previous stand and to prevent further action for potential future lemonade stands.
Again, Dehaas took to Facebook.
“What kind of world do we live in where kids cant do lemonade stand or any kind of stands for that matter without getting in trouble?!” she said. “How are we expose (sic) to show our kids to work hard for what they want and to expand their ideas/entrepreneurship if they need a license for every little thing!”
Friends responded to Dehaas’ post with outrage, calling the city “petty.”
City officials told KMPH FOX26 someone anonymously reported Autumn’s lemonade stand and complained. But, the city manager said, the letter shouldn’t have been sent.
“It makes the city look bad,” John Lollis told KMPH. “We want our youth to be engaged and looking at business opportunities.”
Lollis and a city councilmember said they went to Dehaas’ home to apologize, but no one was home.