Kids take out loans, sell goods and learn how to be entrepreneurs during annual KidBiz event

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GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) — A group of local kids now know what it takes to run a business, and are walking away with some extra cash in their pockets too. The 23rd annual KidBiz event took place on Grand Island.

11-year-old Jack Stancliff sold coasters, trivets and hangers all on his own, Saturday. He took photos of Grand Island and attached those photos to tiles, all by hand. He attached felt to the bottom of all the trivets and coasters. He put metal hooks on the backs of all the hangers.

“The hangers you can hang them on the wall, the trivets are for hot bowls and hot plates, and you can put your drink on the coasters,” he said.

KidBiz is sponsored by the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce. Leaders helped teach Jack how to market his business, price his items, and also taught him how to interact with customers.

There were about 80 kids involved in KidBiz 2019, making up about 60 businesses. All of the kids go to Grand Island schools. Other businesses included knit hats and potholder, yo-yo balloons, chocolate bars, handmade headbands, homemade caramel corn, and more.

Each child had to man their own tents from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They each paid a small rental space fee, and had their own licence to sell at the Grand Island Town Commons. The 2nd through 8th graders sold everything themselves, without the help from mom and dad. Many of the young entrepreneurs even took out loans from their parents to buy the initial products for their goods. They were on the hook to pay those loans back after the KidBiz selling event Saturday.

“It’s actually really fun because you get to make your own stuff, and your parents will help you set up, but then you get to talk to customers and make your own money by yourself,” Cassie Kurtzhaltz said.

Kurtzhaltz, 11, sold homemade caramel popcorn. She said KidBiz has been an inspiration to open her own restaurant one day.

“There’s profits and loans, and it teaches you a lot about how to manage money,” she said.

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