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Boy, 12, has thriving business shut down after grumpy neighbours complain

Claire Reid

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| Last updated 

Boy, 12, has thriving business shut down after grumpy neighbours complain

A 12-year-old entrepreneur has been told to close up his thriving stall after complaints from angry neighbours. 

Jesse Lane, from Coogee in Australia, was selling cold drinks, dog treats, sunscreen and insect repellent from a tent outside his home and was popular with folks doing the Bondi to Coogee walk.

The schoolboy had initially started selling herbs, using an ‘honesty box’ system, before branching out into other items and even setting himself up to take card payments. 

Jesse Lane has been selling supplies out of his families' tent. Credit: Facebook/Business Coogee
Jesse Lane has been selling supplies out of his families' tent. Credit: Facebook/Business Coogee

Things were going well for Jesse until earlier this year, when the council received two complaints from locals who believed he shouldn’t be allowed to make a profit on publicly owned land. 

Following the complaints, the council told Jesse he would need to close his shop because he didn’t have insurance. 

In response, the 12-year-old said he would submit an official trading application, with insurance, to the council for consideration. 

But unfortunately for Jesse, the application was rejected earlier this week. 

But the youngster is not giving up without a fight and has already gathered more than 6,000 signatures from locals who do support his business and his plans. 

Jesse’s father, Peter Lane, told The Sydney Morning Herald: “He’s a very determined young child.

“He loves catching up with the regulars, and he knows their dogs ... Everyone seems to be happy.”

On a local Facebook page, Coogee Local Loop, Jesse has been praised for his entrepreneurial skills. 

In a post urging people to sign the petition, one Coogee resident wrote: “If you happen to be walking past the young Jesse at the top of Dunningham Reserve who on weekends and school holidays is just trying to make some pocket money by selling drinks, dog treats and sunscreen, please stop and sign his petition. He is not in anybody's way or bothering anyone.

Jesse is a familiar sight for those who take the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. Credit: picturelibrary / Alamy Stock Photo
Jesse is a familiar sight for those who take the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. Credit: picturelibrary / Alamy Stock Photo

“He is also a very polite and respectful young man. It seems there has already been a complaint by a couple of disapproving people to have him moved on!

“To them I say, get a life, leave the kid alone, and how about you complain about the inconsiderates with their dogs off leash instead!”

A Randwick Council spokesperson told The Sydney Morning Herald that it had ‘received a number of complaints from people concerned about the precedent of commercialisation of the park as well as concern about the safety and welfare of a young boy trading and handling money in a public place’. 

The spokesperson went on: “While we admire the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of the young man, there are restrictions on commercial operations in public parks.”

LADbible has reached out to Randwick Council for further comment.

Featured Image Credit: Businesscoogee/Facebook

Topics: Australia, Business, Money

Claire Reid
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