According to the New York Post, since the Occupy Wall Street movement began in Zuccotti Park on September 17, protestors have cost surrounding businesses $479,400. Local jewelry shops, restaurants, and beauty salons complain that aggressive signs and reports of violence have dissuaded patrons from visiting their establishments – essentially driving struggling small companies out of business.
Weekends, it seems, are even worse. Angry protestors invariably parade up and down Broadway, scaring tourists and preventing would-be shoppers from making any purchases.
“When they march on the sidewalk, everyone runs away,” said Mike Rauach, owner of VIP Men’s Suits on Broadway. “They kill business.”
There are also a myriad of unexpected expenses preventing small business owners from keeping their companies solvent. The rising costs of running water, toiletries, and repairs have skyrocketed in recent months as occupiers liberally use bathrooms as their own personal washrooms and destroy company property. Meanwhile, businesses are often required to stay open later – especially coffee shops – when intransigent protestors refuse to leave after closing. Alas, this leads inevitably to higher staffing costs. The expenditures are currently estimated at more than $9,000 a day!
And let’s not forget the utter disrespect these ignoramuses have shown to company managers and employees:
On two separate occasions the owner of the Essex World Cafe has rolled up his gate to find someone had defecated on it overnight.
“It must be a good place for them to hide,” the owner cringed.
Next door at Ho Yip, a Chinese restaurant, filthy clothes and underwear carpet the bathroom floor, the manager said.
“I have to pick it up,” the manager groused.
After reading about these incidents over the last few months, I’ve come to expect this type of disgraceful behavior. But what I find absolutely reprehensible is how the occupiers who purportedly identify with the “99 percent” -- by their very existence -- are destroying the local and small businesses they claim to represent.