Entrepreneurial teens told they can’t shovel snow by cops; story snowballs on social media

Two energetic teenagers reportedly had their shoveling business squashed by government regulations last week, but the story gets a little muddy after a social media avalanche.

Home from school in Bound Brook, NJ for a blizzard that never happened, the teens decided to be productive with their time. With at least a few inches of snow on the ground, they thought they could make some extra cash and offered shoveling services in their neighborhood.

The 18-year-old boys, Matt Molinari and Eric Schnepf, found out the hard way – wherever there is an ounce of ingenuity or entrepreneurial spirit – there will be a government regulation to squash it.

The two friends started their journey Monday evening, and handed out flyers which offered their services. It wasn’t long before they were approached by police and ordered to stop their budding business, myCentralJersey.com reported.

A nearby resident witnessed the interaction between the boys and police and took their grievance to a popular Bound Brook Facebook page.

snow 1“Are you kidding me? Our generation does nothing but complain about his generation being lazy and not working for money,” the resident wrote. “Here’s a couple kids who take the time to print flyers, walk door to door in the snow, and then shovel snow for some spending money. And someone calls the cops and they’re told to stop?”

Common-sensed members of the Bound Brook Facebook page agreed and offered overwhelming support of the young entrepreneurs, despite the municipality’s law against unlicensed solicitors and peddlers, according to myCentraJersey.com.

After reading the online comments, Police Chief Michael Jannone maintained the boys were not in any criminal trouble, but were concerned about the their safety in dangerous conditions.

He also reminded reporters that due to the impending blizzard, there was a “state of emergency” issued, where all vehicles were to be off the roads.

Jannone defended the city ordinance against unlicensed salesman.

“The spirit of the ordinance is to protect residents from gypsy activity. People will solicit door to door and target the elderly and get into their house,” Jannone said.

snow 22“We even encouraged them (the boys), that tomorrow when the state of emergency is lifted, and weather conditions are better to come back and good luck to you,” Jannone told NBC New York.

The boys stated in interview that the police were very respectful and polite during the entire situation, but never confirmed in the NBC New York video that they were given permission to shovel after being stopped.

Whatever the case, of why exactly these kids were discouraged from their entrepreneurial pursuits, it’s great to see fellow Americans rally around them in support of their effort.




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