One city bucked the trend across the United States of shutting down young entrepreneurs for lacking proper permits, instead helping a teen obtain the permit he needed to operate his hot dog stand.
Jaequan Faulkner, 13, had been operating Mr. Faulkner’s Old-Fashioned Hot Dogs outside his uncle’s house since 2016, but the city of Minneapolis shut down his operation after someone filed a complaint with the city’s Health Department, the Star Tribune reported.
But instead of permanently shutting down Faulkner’s stand, Minneapolis took action to help Faulkner. City health officials spent time training him in how to make sure his business operated according to city health codes.
One health inspector taught Faulkner how to ensure the temperature of his hot dogs stayed above 140 degrees while other health officials contacted the Northside Economic Opportunity Network—a nonprofit that helps underserved entrepreneurs—to nurture his entrepreneurial spirit.
“When I realized what it was, I said, ‘No, we’re not going to just go and shut him down’ like we would an unlicensed vendor,” Minneapolis Environmental Health Director Dan Huff told KFOR. “We can help him get the permit. Let’s make this a positive thing and help him become a business owner.”
Since then, Faulkner has reopened his hot dog stand with a ten-day permit and a Facebook page with more than 1,000 likes. The teen also has plans to set up shop at other locations throughout the city, all with valid permits.
The police precinct is sponsoring Faulkner’s next permit, and a community church volunteered to sponsor his next few permits for his stand before he goes back to school in the fall.