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InsiderOnline Blog: August 2004

When Life Hands You Health Inspectors...

...make lemonade. Well, there's nothing like ridiculous regulations and overzealous government officials for squelching the entrepreneurial spirit. Luckily, two young businesswomen in St. Louis wouldn't stand for it.

Two seventh graders are back in business after the city's health commissioner apologized because their lemonade stand had been shut down.

Mim Murray, 10, and Marisa Miller-Stockie, 12, have sold lemonade together for three summers, hoping to save enough for laptop computers before school starts.

But on Tuesday, the girls said, a Health Department inspector told them they didn't have the proper business licenses and were selling unsafe ice cubes. The girls were using powdered lemonade mix with ice cubes bought from a store.

After a call to the local TV station and a whole lot of publicity, the girls got an apology from the health inspector and $112 in business on their reopening day. For more on ridiculous regulations, this study shows how small businessmen in Seattle must adhere to 100,000 regulations and this Cato study is an annual snapshot of the federal regulatory monster.

Posted on 08/16/04 10:01 AM by Mary Katherine Ham

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