Photo: Julia La Roche for Business Insider
Occupy Wall Street protesters are steering a ton of business away from a portion of the 99% they say they’re representing. Namely, the small businesses who operate in the Financial District. “Let them leave soon,” Abderrahim Marhraoui, the owner of a Halal food cart since 2003, told the Wall Street Journal. He said sales are down as much as 80% and he may return home to Morocco if sales don’t pick up soon. Other vendors estimated a 30 – 40% decrease in sales in the past three weeks.
Stacey Tzortzatos, owner and manager of Panini & Co. Breads, says she can’t even pay her expenses. “My regular Wall Street suit-and-tie people don’t want to come,” she told the Journal.
Instead, she’s invested $200 in a new lock for her restroom, and is handling flooding from overflowing toilets because so many protesters have been using the Panini & Co. restroom.
While some business owners are sympathetic, many are just frustrated that their normal clientele are staying away, and protesters aren’t buying their food. (Instead, Occupiers take advantage of catered lunches in Zuccotti Park.)
Now that the movement is spreading across New York City and around the world, more small business owners will surely feel the same.
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