The third annual Lemonade Day teaches Brooklyn Youngsters enterprise abilities
BROWNSVILLE – On July 27, 30 Brooklyn children will have the opportunity to run their own businesses. As part of the national Lemonade Day program run in the borough of Bryan J. Guadagno, these kids have created their business plan, learned about finance, and will eventually sell their lemonade at the Brownsville Recreation Center.
Last year’s Lemonade Day Brooklyn event. Courtesy Lemonade Day.
Guadagno, who is originally from New Jersey, says teaching the program begins with a need.
“For example, I want to buy ‘x’ and ‘x’ is $ 100. [We teach the kids about] Identify ways to get this $ 100. I can either ask my parents or I could earn it. The kids attending Brooklyn are downtown kids and don’t really have the luxury of asking their parents. It’s kind of a liberating program for them and they can be empowered to make money for themselves, ”Guadagno Bklyner said on the phone.
The participating children are largely from the program’s partnership with the Central Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation (CBEDC), but also include some individual enrollments. The program provides forgivable loans to participating children who may not have the money to purchase stand accessories. If they don’t make enough profit to repay the loan, it is forgiven, but they must repay it before keeping any profits to themselves.
“When you see how inspired kids are when they actually start raising money, it’s a pretty powerful thing. It’s a day when communities come together and celebrate this entrepreneurship because it’s something very little talked about. Financial literacy is really overlooked in a class and in our eyes it’s a farce, ”said Guadagno.
Brooklyn offers its own roadblocks to the program. In other cities, children have the freedom to set up stalls practically anywhere – in their front yards or in public parks. In New York, food safety and food handling laws can hold up the stalls.
“[The city] just creates a whole series of challenges. This is a day they don’t have to worry about these challenges. They can just be kids and go through starting a business, so to speak [the] additional things coming in New York City, ”says Guadagno.
Organizers decided to hold the event this year at the Brownsville Recreation Center (1555 Linden Boulevard) in place of last year’s McCarren Park location to address some of these challenges. According to Guadagno, it will take place on the same day as the annual Classic Car Day, so the participating children will stand next to professional grocery sellers and already have pedestrian traffic for their stalls.
Lemonade Day in Brooklyn has grown slowly since its original test run three years ago, which was attended by about twelve kids. They’re up to thirty this year, up from the nineteenth last year, but Guadagno says they may be at full capacity there for the time being, citing concerns about having too many stalls in one place, making the kids’ profits would undercut, and that there is a lack of infrastructure, the event in more than one location.
“We grow around our foundations. We don’t want to get too big too fast, but the ultimate goal is to have every park in Brooklyn have kids at this event for one day a year. For children who have the financial means, from their parents and background, to participate themselves, [they can] Get advice on where to set up. We have individual licenses for local grocers and licenses for local food safety. We take care of all permits for each individual park, and the children have the autonomy to set up in these parks in certain areas. That is really the goal, on one day of the year where we partner with the parks department where children can do so in a park of their choice, ”Guadagno said, adding that the program would continue to provide support to children without the Funding at home through their after-school programs and partnership with the CBEDC.
In addition to national donors, the event in Brooklyn also has its own sponsors. This year that list includes Brother Printers, Staples, and Dawn Foods. Both Dawn Foods and Brother Printers made “very generous capital contributions,” while Staples donated a $ 200 gift card to each participating child.
“It’s incredible. We want these companies to be recognized because our goal is entrepreneurship in the region. We want more companies to be involved in this pursuit,” said Guadagno.
To donate or get involved, visit here or find her on Instagram @lemonadedaybk. You can attend the event on Saturday July 27th at the Brownsville Recreation Center at 6931, 1555 Linden Boulevard.