Thirteen year old Nathan Duszynski of Holland, Michigan today finds himself homeless after the city forced him to shut his hot dog cart. He’d been using the money he’d been making to help support his parents who are both unemployed and disabled.
According to the boy, he had scrimped and saved in order to buy the hot dog stand only to see his desire for stability dashed when the city misguided him into thinking he didn’t need to acquire a permit.
Within ten minutes of opening his hot dog stand the boy was asked for proof of permit and when he was unable to produce one he was immediately shut down.
Said Nathan: ‘I thought, wow, I’m getting shut down all ready and I haven’t even started.’
According to officials the stand was within the city’s downtown commercial zone where food carts that aren’t affiliated with restaurants are forbidden.
City of Holland Assistant Manager Greg Robinson said that the rule was established as a protection to restaurants in the area who pay property costs, unlike food carts.
‘This is a great opportunity for him, and it would be great to work with him and we can in many commercial areas of the city. This just happens to be one where he can’t.’
But not all is lost. CBSreports that a local businessman purchased the cart from Nathan (at a profit) while allowing the boy to hold on to the cart which he now uses at private events. He has since begun saving to acquire a permit, although it seems Nathan is also required to purchase a new permit for every private event he turns up to as well.
Ultimately one can’t help but wonder what will become of Nathan and his family by the city’s insistence that it follow ordinance laws that effectively help serve the city gain tax revenue to the detriment of an individual looking to build their own fledging business. Then again perhaps the city should recognize the special circumstances of this young boy and help him achieve his goals by perhaps sidelining permit costs in certain areas or events and to perhaps offer him a subsidy that they would so often be quick to offer larger businesses. Either way one suspects the boy will learn a lot and one day will become the owner of many vending units, not just in hot dogs, but real estate, banking finance and what not. Let’s hope Nathan finds his way and of course runs into a few more conscious individuals who are willing to broker a deal for an individual who is hungry to live the American dream, or in this instance just staying out of a shelter home….