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Community Perspective

Lemonade Day is a sweet taste of young success

When you think of Fairbanks, hot weather isn’t usually what comes to mind. But, as the temperatures creep toward 80, us cold-weather locals may find ourselves looking for something to take the edge off the heat. Lucky for us, kids all around Fairbanks are building business plans, gathering supplies and perfecting their recipes for Lemonade Day on Saturday.

Lemonade Day, this Saturday, June 26, is a day when kids all over Alaska will host their own small businesses and learn about entrepreneurship in an exciting, fun and profitable way. Children around the state will be introduced to the thrill of running a business and the importance of financial management by planning, organizing and hosting their own lemonade stands.

Each kid that registers for Lemonade Day receives a free yellow business backpack with a workbook that teaches the lessons of Lemonade Day. These lessons include creating budgets, setting goals, serving customers, repaying investors and giving back to their community.

Not only is participating in Lemonade Day a great learning experience and a way to introduce a child to entrepreneurship, it’s also a lot of fun. It’s so much fun that over 72% of past young entrepreneurs are expected to return to participate this year, and families in more than 70 different communities in Alaska will be serving up lemonade.

Sure, hosting a lemonade stand is a thirst-quenching good time but there isn’t any actual money in it, right? Not right. Statistics from the most recent Lemonade Day (June 29, 2019 — a hot, sunny Saturday similar to what is expected this week) show that Lemonade Day stands averaged over $210 in revenue with a net income of $155. And, in all, Alaska participants generated almost half a million dollars in revenues and reported over $300,000 in profits.

The money that the young entrepreneurs make is all their own, but importantly, the Lemonade Day program encourages participants to spend some of this realized cash on themselves, to save some of it, and to donate a portion to charity — with Lemonade Day participants donating a very generous $125,000 in 2019.

If you are interested in a great time and helping a kid build entrepreneurial experience through selling delicious lemonade on Saturday, you can register your child for free and find resources like YouTube videos, FAQs, mentor guides and more on the Lemonade Day website at lemonadeday.org/Alaska.

If you can’t host a stand or don’t have a young entrepreneur available but you are interested in supporting those across our community by getting a lemonade, visit lemonadeday.org/Alaska/stands-map to find a lemonade stand and to support your local extra-small businesses. Likewise, Lemonade Day participants should visit the map to add their stand’s location.

Once participants are registered, they can contact the Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation to collect their free materials. Lemonade Day Alaska is hosted by the Alaska Small Business Development Center, and Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation is excited to be Fairbanks’ community leader for what is shaping up to be a sunny, refreshing Lemonade Day this Saturday.

If you are a seasoned entrepreneur or small business owner, and maybe too old for Lemonade Day, Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation has something for you too. FEDC recently partnered with Web 907, a local business and a specialist in online services, to create a short but informative video on how to improve your web presence and rank higher in search results. It’s well-made, gets right to the point, and includes some great tips. You can find the video titled “Improve your Online Presence & Rank Higher” on the Fairbanks FEDC YouTube channel.

After taking a look at the above video, you can find additional helpful information on FEDC’s business resources page at www.investfairbanks/business-resources. The page hosts a collection of resources and links to organizations specializing in helping local entrepreneurs and businesses get started and succeed. Check it out and check back often as it features an array of subjects and will continue to grow as we come across more helpful information.

It’s going to be a scorcher this weekend but don’t just suffer through it. Saturday is Alaska Lemonade Day and hundreds of kids across our state will be having fun learning valuable lessons that will last them a lifetime. So, stock up on $1s and $5s, go treat yourself to lots of ice cold, refreshing lemonade, encourage entrepreneurship and support your local businesses — all the way down to the lemonade stands.

Evan Wilken is a project manager with the Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation.

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