13 year old Nathan Duszynski Saves Up Money for a Hot Dog Stand to Help Disabled Parents, Gets Shut Down by the City

(Photo: Mackinac Center for Public Policy)

Just how hard is it to start a business in Michigan?  Nearly impossible, it seems, if the recent endeavors of 13-year-old Nathan Duszynski are any indication.

“I was trying to help my mom and my dad, because they’re both on disability,” Duszynski explained, saying that one parent has epilepsy and the other has multiple sclerosis, “so I was just trying to bring in some money for them and the household while they’re struggling.”

(Related: President Obama: ‘If You Have a Business– You Didn’t Build That.  Somebody Else Made That Happen)

So young Nathan saved money by doing odd jobs for neighbors and extra chores until, with a little bit of help from his parents, he had enough money to buy his own hot dog cart.  Reports indicate that in addition to helping out his family, Duszynski also hoped that if he worked there long enough, he might be able to help pay for college or a car.

“We went and we talked with Anna from City Hall on the third floor, and she told us that it was fine, and we wanted to make sure that we stopped in there in person about a month ago…and asked her…do we need a business permit, license?  And she said no,” Duszynski’s mother Lynette explained.

Bur after they had spent roughly $1,500 on the cart, on the same day they set it up in the parking lot of a local sports store (with the owner’s consent), the city stopped by to let the 13-year-old know he was being shut down.

Most reports indicate that the stand was only up and running for about ten minutes before the city official dropped by. (Don’t you wish they moved that quickly at the DMV?)

(Related: Running Gag: Another Lemonade Stand Shut Down by Authorities)

Apparently, there is a zoning law that prevents competition from food stands with a number of restaurants in the area.

Michael LaFaive, the director of the Mackinac Center for Fiscal Policy said: “It’s no surprise…What makes market capitalism work is the ability of individuals to provide highly nuanced, competing alternatives to some existing business.  This seems like just another sad episode of some government micromanaging the lives of many to benefit a few.”

Here’s a video of the young entrepreneur and his parents:

“I’m getting shut down already and I haven’t even started,” Duszynski remarked in disbelief.

“[And] now, we’re stuck with all these hot dogs” his mother added.

The next step, the family agreed, is to sell the cart and somehow use the money to try to change the ordinance.

Fortunately, a local business stepped in to ensure the young man didn’t take a loss for his entrepreneurial endeavor, buying it for a whopping $2,500 dollars.

WZZM 13 reported:

Shoreline Container heard about Nathan’s problem and decided to help him out. Managers at the company was especially impressed by his professionalism at such a young age.

“He’s just a real go-getter, and at that age that’s unusual. It’s unusual that they can relate to adults like he does and so he really caught our eye, so to speak,” said Carolyn Norman, who works for the container company.

The packaging company will be using the cart for outdoor cookouts, but will still allow Nathan to use it on special occasions. In fact, Nathan already has one wedding lined up.

But commenters haven’t been able to resist pointing out the irony between the president’s recent comment that, “if you have a business, you didn’t build that…somebody else made that happen,” and how the government really prevented this boy’s success.

One wrote: “Think of all the business that did NOT happen, thanks to government bureaucrats and regulations.”

(H/T: Gateway Pundit)

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