The Daily Evergreen

Slow down, cupcake

ASHLEY FISHER | Evergreen columnist

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No home-baked cupcakes for you.

Chloe Stirling, an 11-year-old entrepreneur from Troy, Ill., began her own cake and cupcake business two years ago. Her business, Hey, Cupcake! became wildly successful over the last few years, and Stirling received some well-deserved attention from local media. 

However, after reading a positive review of Stirling’s business in a local newspaper, the Madison County Health Department decided to shut it down, according to an article by KMOV. 

To diminish the dreams of an 11-year-old is an issue that represents something far more problematic. 

It’s no secret that small businesses have the toughest fight to win when it comes to success, especially with the economy on its last leg, but to not even give them a chance is unfathomable.

The news article that brought Stirling’s business under scrutiny by the health department was published on the front page of the Belleville News-Democrat. 

In the article, Stirling reveals that she was saving the money she made from her business to help purchase a car when she turns 16. 

Not only does the article feature photos of Stirling’s remarkable cupcake designs, but it also explains how Stirling donates a large number of her baked goods to charities, such as fundraisers for cancer.

Unfortunately, after reading this inspiring story depicting a young girl’s ambitious hobbies and goals, Madison County Health Department officials decided the reasonable response would be to shut her down.

The health department argued that the county must apply its laws to all food-selling businesses. Department officials informed Stirling that if she wanted to continue selling cupcakes she must either buy a bakery or build a separate kitchen in her house, according to an article by TIME. Neither of these options is feasible for sixth-grader Stirling or her family at the moment. 

A spokeswoman for the health department declared, “The rules are the rules. It’s for the protection of the public health,” according to the same article by TIME. 

The majority of Americans blindly believe that such government regulations are there to keep them safe and healthy. The reality is that regulations are simply in place to crush free enterprise and help create favorable market conditions for the existing corporate giants.

The system is designed to keep innovative individuals, such as Stirling, working for big companies instead of competing with the dominances already in place. 

Health departments impose so many obstacles in the form of fees, rules and inspections, that working for an established company begins to seem far cheaper and less stressful. 

An honest start-up business has everything working against it, and the government has intentionally kept it this way. 

Although this story about government regulations squashing a young girl’s dream is particularly infuriating, the truth of the matter is that the law oppresses everyone. 

Health department officials continue to argue the imposed regulations are for our own good. 

Honestly, what would we do without the government looking out for “public health” by shutting down dangerous cupcake businesses run by 11-year-olds? Oh, right, we would be free.  

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Slow down, cupcake