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Small business owners: Lemonade Day to launch in Cottage Grove

Those signing up for the first-annual Cottage Grove Lemonade Day will receive a workbook to help design a business plan for the lemonade stand. Katie Nelson / RiverTown Multimedia

If Chris and Heather Carey have their way, Cottage Grove will be packed with kids running lemonade stands Aug. 25.

Cottage Grove will become the first city in Minnesota to host the entrepreneurial learning program Lemonade Day. The local business owners decided to launch the national program locally as part of their goal to give back and to spread an entrepreneurial spirit among kids.

Chris Carey said he hoped his own kids — aged 6 and 10 — will own businesses themselves someday.

"My daughters don't think like this, and I'm excited for them to," he said.

Carey said for this first year, their goal is to get 100 kids — about 50 lemonade stands — to participate. As of July 24 there were 17 stands registered. Kids can register for a stand up to the week of.

Kids can choose their own adventures with this process, by creating their own lemonade recipes and stands as they want.

"Stands can be a table with nothing else or can be really extravagant," Carey said.

Kids use a workbook to set up their business for the day — figuring out a business plan, loans, expenses, pricing and more.

Part of the financial plan includes spending, saving and sharing. The kids are encouraged not only to buy something and save some money with what they earned, but also find a way to give back with a portion of the proceeds.

At the end of the day, three young business owners will be named for having the best tasting lemonade, the best stand and the highest-earning stand, which will be entered to compete nationally for Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

"We want to plant the seeds of entrepreneurship," Carey said.

A self-proclaimed "entrepreneurship nerd," he said he's hoping this event will be the first of many in the coming years.

Carey said they are also looking for people to mentor the lemonaders, as well as businesses willing to have them posted outside with their stands.

And, of course, they will need thirsty customers.

To register, visit https://lemonadeday.org/cottage-grove materials can be picked up at Modern Automotive Performance.

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