Someone tried to shut down his hot dog stand, but instead, 13-year old Jaequan Faulkner received support from the Minneapolis Health Department—and now, business is booming.
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Last summer, 13-year-old Jaequan Faulkner setup a hot dog stand. But a tipster emailed the Minneapolis Health Department to complain. Instead of shutting him down, the health dept taught him how to bring his stand up to code & employees even paid for his permit! pic.twitter.com/E7QzCknDQb
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) August 29, 2019
This story could have gone in a different direction. After all, this summer has been plagued by stories of angry people trying to shut down children’s—often children of color’s—burgeoning hustles (Permit Patty, anyone?).
“They had told me somebody had complained,” Faulkner said to CNBC’s On The Money.
The “tipster” watching the system defy expectations by helping a black boy’s business flourish: pic.twitter.com/hJgyD4546i
— Tuxedo Mask (@TheLoveBel0w) August 29, 2019
“Before responding to the complaint, what we did was put on hold our response until we could figure out how to help him,” Dan Huff, environmental health director of the Minneapolis Health Department, said.
Huff and fellow health inspectors were blown away by Faulkner’s hard work. Instead of shutting down the stand, they helped teach Faulkner about proper food handling. They also assisted him in getting the hot dog stand up to code.
“He never gave up and kept pushing forward,” said Jerome Faulkner, Jaequan’s uncle.
The story has been shared more than 3.6k times, inspiring small business people and adults alike.
THIS is what a government entity should do. HELP people get right, not just fine them into insolvency.
— Margaret (@MargaretJCR) August 29, 2019
This is how it’s done. The dept has taught a teen about business, mentored him, encouraged his family by proxy and set a young man in a journey to later success. More stories like this please!
— Julie Lynn (@JulieLBartlett) August 29, 2019
This is the kind of America we could be.
— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) August 29, 2019
Now, Faulkner and his uncle sell between 100, 150 hot dogs a day. Jaequan plans to use his money for school clothes—he also hopes to keep selling food when he’s not in class.
“What’s next for me is, I’m trying to get a little spot, a restaurant or something. Right when I get our of school I can go there and start working,” he said.
Faulkner shared his philosophy for success with CNBC.
“My auntie always told me, ‘Can’t nobody stop you but you.’ If you say ‘I can’t do that,’ well, then you just set yourself up for failure.”
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