Business owners in Oakland have called upon the police to do whatever they need to disband the Occupy camp, saying profits are plummeting and the reputation of the city is at stake.Silicon Valley Mercury News reports that Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has agreed the Occupy protest is hurting jobs and she’s asked protesters to work with the city to end the occupation peacefully.
Acknowledging merchants in the area are part of the 99 per cent, Occupy representatives said they mean no harm to local shopkeepers.
But business owners are done talking. “The encampment needs to go away,” said Deborah Boyer, president of the Lake Merritt Benefit District. “It’s become dangerous.”
Nohemi Duran, a worker at the Juice Joint Eatery near the Occupy encampment told the Mercury News, “People don’t want to come downtown.”
Retailers claim the protests have cut sales in half and scared possible tenants away from the area.
“Business is slow,” Mark Amarri, manager of The Plaza Cafe added. “Things were good before the protests began. Now it’s going to be hard to pay the rent.”
One local real estate firm claims that five companies they were working with to set up operations in the city have put their plans on hold or cancelled them altogether.
“This is making it harder to market downtown Oakland to potential tenants,” said William Nork, a senior vice president with Cornish & Carey. “Oakland is becoming a nationwide story. A lot of that story is not good.”
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