We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I understand her concerns and the situation she is in, but $400, $200/yr with one up front, does not seem like a huge burden to bear to put her into the class of business' where she can have all the tools she needs to run her business and be successful. If she isn't making enough money where she can afford the $200/yr, then she shouldn't be in business.
I'm not exactly sure who is really at fault here. I know we want to blame the state, but it seems that the women running the jelly/jam business wants all the privileges of a licensed business without having to pay for them.
Not sure where you are located but call the state dept of agriculture and markets, at least here in NY there is a way around the Health Dept license. A waiver so to speak. Of course your business must make less than $20,000 a year (that's easily hidden in the jam/jelly business) as far as insurance, you would want to have that anyway or transfer all your owned property to someone elses name (can't get blood from a stone) if the insurance is for food poisoning coverage, (I'm assuming it is) pay it and take a class at the local college and get certified by the health dept. It does not cost much and should lower your insurance as well as get you through a ton of loop holes as your business grows. Do not listen to those that tell you to set up a corporation and all that if you don't plan on having employees yet. Don't be overwhelmed, go one step at a time and keep impeccable records. Hope this helps! Good luck to you!