A 12-year-old boy who set up shop on an iconic Sydney coastal walk has been forced to shut his entrepreneurial venture down.
Jesse Lane started selling drinks, snacks and sunscreen in Coogee out of a tent three years ago. Many saw the value in what he was doing, though some locals complained, leading to the closure of 'Jesse's Shop'.
Randwick City Council confirmed to Yahoo News Australia in August that there had been a "number" of complaints about Jesse's business.
Some people were concerned about the "precedent of commercialisation" at Dunningham Reserve, which is managed by the council, and Jesse's safety given he was handling money in public.
Earlier this year, Randwick City Council told Jesse he would have to shut down his popular drink stand because he did not have insurance. In response, the determined 12-year-old submitted a formal application with insurance.
However, over the weekend, news broke that the council had officially rejected Jesse's application.
A council spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald they first became aware of Jesse's "mini convenience store" late last year.
"He was initially selling drinks but has expanded to include a range of products including sunscreen, insect repellent and dog treats," they said.
“While we admire the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of the young man, there are restrictions on commercial operations in public parks."
Yahoo News Australia has contacted Randwick City Council for comment.
Community rallies around Jesse
Locals have praised Jesse's business in the past, with many saying the 12-year-old was both polite and thoughtful.
"We have been supporting Jesse since day one, especially for the dog treats. What a fantastic young man with such drive and ambition," one person said on Facebook in August when the complaints were first reported.
"He seems to really enjoy his little gig up there. For those who now have made it extremely difficult for him by involving the council and incurring costs, get a life and give this great kid a break!"
Jesse's mum, Catherine Tiney, previously told Yahoo News Australia her son had shown an interest in business shortly after they moved to Coogee five years ago.
"He was about 8 years old at the time, and it was a really small lemonade stand," she said.
Jesse took a shine to running the stand and started expanding his little business to what it is today.
A petition supporting 'Jesse's Shop' has garnered more than 6000 signatures. The 12-year-old plans on presenting it to the mayor later this month, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
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