NCC opening up Sunday Bike Days to young entrepreneurs, with conditions

If you’re out for Sunday Bike Days this summer, you’ll have your pick of lemonade stands and other kiosks.

The National Capital Commission is opening up prime, federally-owned land along the Sunday Bike Days routes to young entrepreneurs. Children aged 5 to 17 will be able to operate a small kiosk for three Sundays this summer, provided they have their parents fill out the proper permits, which are available online.

This comes just one year after two young girls, aged 5 and 7, had their lemonade stand on Colonel By Drive briefly shut down by the NCC. The Commission quickly reversed course when the story made national headlines and granted the girls a permit to continue operating.

Their father, Kurtis Andrews, spoke to CFRA’s Ottawa Now with Evan Solomon Monday. He said his girls, Adela and Eliza, now 6 and 8, will be back at it again this year.

“They have the brand recognition,” Andrews says. “Now that they’re going to open it up to just anybody, there’s going to be some competition, so we have to distinguish ourselves. They will always be the originals; we just gotta make sure we market it right.”

Andrews says he looked over the permit briefly and says, while it’s good that the NCC is encouraging entrepreneurship, he does have some criticisms.

“There are levels of bureaucracy here. They have to go through an approval process,” he says. “One thing that kind of gets me a little bit is that there’s an indemnification clause in there. [The federal government] is probably the largest organization in Canada, I think they could probably stick their neck out on some of the risk just a little bit.”

That clause reads as follows:

You must agree to indemnify and save harmless the NCC, and anyone for whom the NCC is responsible, from all financial consequences, including reasonable legal fees, arising from any demands, claims or actions made or brought against the NCC, directly or indirectly, and resulting from the Activity. This clause shall survive the termination of this Permit.

The NCC also says it is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged equipment, and is not responsible for consequences or complaints that arise from kiosk activity.

That’s not the only rule. In addition to making sure the NCC permit is visible on the kiosk at all times, the young entrepreneurs must also ensure anything they’re selling, such as lemonade, is safe to consume. Any written signs must have the message written in both English and French. They have to set up before the roads close for Bike Days and pack up and leave before car traffic resumes. At least 7% of all of the revenue generated by the kiosk must be donated to a cause or charity of the operator’s choice, and an account of the young entrepreneur’s revenues and donations must be given to the NCC.

Young entrepreneurs are also encouraged, but are not required, to take a training workshop offered by JA Ottawa before they start operating their small business.

Kiosks may go up in one of seven locations: Vimy Place or the Champlain Bridge parking lot along the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway; At C.H. Airport-Marina Road or parking lot P8 along the Sir Georges-Étienne Cartier Parkway; the Bronson Avenue parking lot along Colonel By drive or; the corners of Colonel By and Daly Street or Colonel By and Clegg Street.

The NCC has laid out three sets of Sundays a young businessperson can choose to operate on: June 25 and July 2 & 9; July 16, 23 & 30 (a typo on the online form says July 20 instead of 30); or August 6, 13 & 20. Parents may also choose three non-consecutive Sundays on which to operate.

Andrews says, there are a lot of rules to keep in mind and follow, but that just makes the experience all the more educational.

“I operate my own business, I deal with bureaucracy,” he says. “I figure if you really want to give them a proper lesson on operating a business in this country, you may as well give them a lesson on bureaucracy, too.”

You can find more information by clicking here.