April 16, 2024

By Olivia Day For Daily Mail Australia
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Sydneysiders have rallied around a 12-year-old boy whose thriving business has been cruelly shut down after grumpy locals complained. 
Touted as Coogee’s ‘youngest retail entrepreneur’, Jesse Lane has been enjoying roaring trade selling cold drinks, insect repellent, dog treats and sunscreen out of a tent outside his home in Sydney‘s eastern suburbs to people doing the hugely popular Bondi to Coogee walk.
The 12-year-old started by selling herbs in an ‘honesty box’ about 18 months ago but has since diversified his product range and now even accepts card payments. 
However, this week Randwick Council voted to reject Jesse’s official trading application, after receiving two complaints from neighbours who said he shouldn’t be allowed to use public land to make a profit.
Touted as Coogee’s ‘youngest retail entrepreneur’, Jesse Lane has been enjoying roaring trade selling cold drinks, insect repellent, dog treats and sunscreen out of a tent outside his home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs (pictured, a passerby at the popular stall)
The complaints came after the council warned ‘Jesse’s Shop’ could be shut down for good if the 12-year-old didn’t secure insurance. 
Not one to give up, Jesse took out an insurance plan and lodged an official trading application – which now, after several months of anticipation, has been rejected. 
As the future of Jesse’s Shop hangs in the balance, up to 6000 locals have signed a petition in support of the popular cliff-side stall. 
Should council have shut down Jesse Lane’s beach ‘shop’?
Should council have shut down Jesse Lane’s beach ‘shop’?
Now share your opinion
On the Facebook group ‘Coogee Local Loop’ locals have heaped their praise on the ‘impressive’ 12-year-old and encouraged others to get behind the shop.
‘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,’ the original poster said. 
‘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!’
Jesse had strong support from the locals but it didn’t stop him getting shut down
One woman said she had seen one of Jesse’s neighbours ‘having a go – saying he was out too late in the evening on a school night during summer’.
‘I walked past one evening and his mum (I assume) helped him pack up and he kept offering stuff to passersby’s and I heard her telling him off that it was enough and to come home now. So I don’t think it’s the parents “overworking” him,’ another wrote. 
‘I think he is a great little entrepreneur, but the thought has crossed my mind that he is there a lot.’ 
On the Facebook page ‘Coogee Local Loop’ locals heaped praise on the ‘impressive’ 12-year-old and encouraged others to sign the petition (pictured, the Bondi to Coogee walk)
‘He is a great kid and very polite and enterprising. Very impressive work ethic. We should be applauding him, not making complaints,’ another fan wrote.  
Another local said she had asked Jesse what he was putting the money towards.
‘He’s saving for his future he said, to buy a car and things. Very bright kid. I hope he continues to do great,’ she commented. 
‘He’s inspired my son who is nine with ADHD and wants to do what he does. We need more kids like him, another mother said. 
‘We should be rewarding this kind of entrepreneurial spirit, not whinge about it. I love seeing his store. Wish he was allowed to sell cold beers,’ a local added. 
Peter Lane, Jesse’s father, said the majority of locals were happy with the arrangement.
Peter Lane, Jesse’s father, said the majority of locals were happy with the arrangement and that his son was a very ‘determined young child’ (pictured, Coogee Beach)
‘He’s a very determined young child,’ Mr Lane told the Sydney Morning Herald
‘He loves catching up with the regulars, and he knows their dogs.’
A Randwick Council spokesperson told the publication councillors had become aware Jesse was operating a ‘mini convenience’ store in late 2021. 
They said the council 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’. 
‘While we admire the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of the young man, there are restrictions on commercial operations in public parks,’ they said. 
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Randwick Council for comment.  
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group

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