Occupy Funds: How Protests Affect Small Business [INFOGRAPHIC]

We wrote a post about a month ago asking the question, “Is ‘Occupy Wall Street’ hurting small business?” We had a lot of responses from people on both sides. Well, now we dug deeper into it and gathered some research across the country to show whether it truly is hurting small businesses or not.

The answer seems to be yes — to both. Pizza shops have sold thousands of pies; others have experienced big losses and extensive damages. Check out the graphic (click on it to make it bigger) and let us know how you think the Occupy Movement has affected small business:

Occupy Funds: How Protests Affect Small Business [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Occupy Funds: How Protests Affect Small Business [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Joined by union members, students, & the unemployed, demonstrations swelled to an estimated 15,000 marchers.

200-300 Protesters slept in Zuccotti Park on average each night

One person Tweets: “Total number or Occupy Oakland protestors now around 2,000 … chanting anti-capitalist slogans.” Police estimate 4,500 marched”

Over 2,300 occupied zones in over 2,000 cities worldwide.

Occupy’s Economic Damage To Small Businesses


Occupy Wall Street movement, on average, has cost surrounding restaurants, jewelry shops, beauty salons, a chain store and mom-and-pop establishments $479,400.

Clothing stores, coffee shops and conference spaces in and around the protests in Frank Ogawa Plaza are reporting 40% to 50% losses.

San Diego:
The owners of a hot dog cart and a coffee stand in Civic Center Plaza in downtown San Diego have had to close their businesses.

Due to a cancelled community event in Dewey Square, one food truck, having opened just this past June reported a loss of business and exposure from a potentially busy fall weekend, as a result of the Occupation.

Occupy Labor Issues

Three businesses with commitments to new leases in the downtown area, which would have brought in some 350 jobs, backed out of their agreements.

One business owner claims he has had to lay off people.

Occupy, The Harsh Realities

From maintenance to security, overhead costs have soared for business owners
One Manhattan restaurant’s woes – $200 lock on my bathroom after the sink fell down to the ground, cracked open, pulled the plumbing out of the wall and caused a flood.

Occupy has replaced paying customers with freeloading protestors turning to local businesses for electricity and running water.

One Manhattan restaurant’s woes: Protesters use the toilet, phones, recharge their phone batteries with business’s electrical outlets, take free cold/hot water, plastic bags, paper products and free ice, not buying anything

The impact that property destruction, vandalism and theft has had on business.
One Oakland business’s woes: Windows were broken and the site was looted.

Occupy’s Unsavory Behavior:

All-day drumming, people urinating and defecating on the streets and verbal attacks from protesters.

One Manhattan business’s woes: Protestors destroyed the stall and broke one of the bathrooms, forcing customers now go downstairs to use the bathroom.

Occupy’s Affects on Customers


Clogged streets, aggressive signs and stories of predators and criminals lurking among the knot of protesters, prevent shoppers from taking the risk of coming to the area.

Customers used to take food to eat in the park, but now they can’t.

“Instead of coming through the park to get to their buildings, all of my customers go around it.”

One restaurant’s sales of breakfast items like muffins & coffee have fallen by 50% since the protest began.

Nervous about walking around amongst the protestors customers are taking their business elsewhere.

Occupy Business Owners Are Fighting Back


One business tried to limit bathroom use to only paying customers, and protestors threatened to boycott.

Store owners gathered on the steps of City Hall to speak out against “Occupy Wall Street.”

Business owners have petitioned the city government to help abate the economically destructive protests there

Occupy Business is Good

A few have made money off the protests, as donors from all over the country have sent pizza pies, eight-foot submarine sandwiches, donuts and even Edible Arrangements from nearby restaurants to the movement.

Pizza seems to be a staple of Occupy Wall Street protestors, displayed by one pizza shop owner who’s turning them out by the hundreds.

Some sales have picked up since the protest began due to foot traffic form tourists and onlookers pass through in droves each day.

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle & an appearance on a local ABC-TV station inspired loyal customers to show up to one business, to ensure that it didn’t go under


More than $500,000 has been raised for the movement by the end of November to help local businesses




It takes a little cash to change the world.

So what are you waiting for?

About the author


  1. What a skewed article. Not surprising considering you represent the finance industry. Example: how much gas and travel expenses do thousands spend. How about the long term benefit of educating people about unscrupulous financial practices. Any business can restrict access to bathrooms and ice if they think it is in their best interests. I own a small business and am getting better clients because I support a living wage, green building and equitable compensation. Remember, the losses and economic crisis is specifically due to poor intelligence and criminal acts in the finance and economic circles. Leeches looting wealth they did not earn. Common thieves. An honest chart would compare losses and gains to the amount of money being stolen by the finance industry. Thousands compared to trillions. If you don’t believe me try this example. Citi got a huge bailout while doubling my business card rates. How is that right? Follow the money.

    • Brook, thanks for commenting. This graphic was just visually showing some of the facts that businesses have reported. We took no stand here on either side.

    • Brooke, the Occupiers rarely provide accurate info – necessary for education. They ignore basic facts, such as seeking increased Government Regulation won’t help unless enforced, which present regulations are not. All that does is create a few jobs for Gov regulators while costing biz more – which means biz can’t create as many jobs. And most of the economic crisis “causes” are results of Gov spending more than it is taking in, spending it ineffectively, and especially the pressure put out by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that led to the housing bubble, which led to the Foreclosure Avalanche and the Financial Crisis of ’08.

  2. Business opportunities come and go in specific locations. But the bigger issue is focusing the public’s attention on the disappearing middle class and how that is a threat to all small businesses. That is what the Occupy movement has done and one that I support ( http://www.unconflictedsc.com/2011/11/poster-child-for-1.html).

    We have some festivals that some local small businesses don’t like because their business is negatively impacted. But there is no public clamor for ending the festivals. Only those defending corporate greed will latch onto some small businesses that have been adversely affected by Occupy.

    Small businesses should be supportive of the Occupy movement because we are also the 99%.

    Frank Knapp, Jr.
    President & CEO
    The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce

  3. Protest Occupy is enforced because The Special Interest Thievery have taken The American Dream from The People of our Sovereign Governmet which belong to them, THE PEOPLE. The Honorable President Abraham declared this fact in his Gettysburg Address… THIS GOVERNMENT OF The People, BY The People, FOR The People, shall not perish from The Earth (which means it will be until Second Coming of Jesus, The Christ). The renegade extreme conservative interest have tainted our Sovereign Supreme Court, where the five conservative interest Judges have dismissed all sense of realistic logic in saying that A CORPORATION IS A PERSON. That is the very proof that the civility of our Sovereign Government have been sieged by savagery of people, who have denied sound judgment. That is deplorable and they will be prosecuted for it because NO ONE IS ABOVE OUR CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, even if they are members of our Sovereign Supreme Court… they can be and will be IMPEACHED for their treason against our Sovereign Government. Reverend Ira L Lewis Austin, TX [email protected]. Thank You.

  4. Interesting information and mini case studies. However, this is not an infographic. Superimposed on text on a cartoon graphic doesn’t mean that you have an infographic. I know you likely read on Mashable a while back how infographics are the “in thing” now (and I agree they are an awesome way to display data) but come on Lendio. Try harder next time.

    • Jason, thanks for your critique on the infographic. Feel free to see our other graphics here //www.lendio.com/tag/infographic/ and make similar positive critiques. We’ll try better next time. :)

      • Good show, Dan!

        Everyone can always do better, but it’s always easier to point out someone else’s room for improvement, eh? LOL

        Keep up the good work. I’m trying, too!

        Happy New Year! :-)

  5. Hi Dan,

    My thinking is that we need MORE of this #Occupy stuff, not less – more of a focus on the needs of Main Street, and less on Wall Street, as if Main Street’s happy, Wall Street’s healthy.

    As it’s been for the last 30 years or so, that’s not been the case. Wages have been flat-lined, and we’ve been keeping consumption up w/ cheap debt brought to us by our friendly Wall St. bankers. The system’s now saturated w/ debt, and it’s breaking. This means that it’s now time to speak truth to power and tell them to knock this shit off.

    (Or in the case of banks like Chase, to tell them to quit bribing bureaucrats to increase the debt burdens of their governments and then setting up markets so that traders can short sell the debt. People that do this kind of thing will eat their own young, and ours. They’re simply not citizens.)

    Translated: We need to quit giving tax breaks for sending our jobs overseas, and quit subsidizing the millionaires & big co’s w/ tax breaks that entrepreneurs and the rank & file don’t have access to.

    As one of those nasty 1%ers, I’ve a need for paying my fair share that’s not tied to business, but to my role as a citizen and as a human being. As it’s been said before, I don’t want to be a rich man in a poor country…

    And we also need to GET THE MONEY OUT OF POLITICS, which is the Occupy crowd’s greatest bitch, and rightfully so. That’s likely the highest leverage point in this system.

    So I’m OK w/ some short term disruption in exchange for a more level playing field downstream. A little revolution is good for the system every now and then…

    Kevin Johansen, CEO
    The Business Catapult, Inc.
    Skype: KWJohansen
    Twitter: @AngelCapital

  6. I don’t ever support being disruptive to such a point where police manpower budget is being greatly stretched, putting city budgets further in the red.

    The whole OWS stance makes perfect sense. But when the little guy (small biz owner), who has absolutely NOTHING to do with the nation’s economic melt-down, then you’ve crossed the line. Don’t get mad when you get maced.

    If you can congregate in a park overnight, then leave hundreds of tons of garbage for the city to clean up, then you have NO case. You’re as reckless and irresponsible as the Wall Streeters you’re suppposed to be targeting.

    OWSers have become like the war: soldiers sent to occupy Iraq INSTEAD OF Iran! Wrong target, IDIOTS!

    • Hiya…

      Once the #Occupy crowd asks for a multi-trillion dollar bailout from the taxpayers, gets it, still drives the economy into the toilet and then doesn’t fire anyone or send anyone to JAIL, I might start thinking that they’re as reckless and irresponsible as the Wall Streeters.

      But not before.


  7. Apologies: * I meant:

    “But when the little guy (small biz owner), who has absolutely NOTHING to do with the nation’s economic melt-down, GETS CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE BY LOSING REVENUE, then you’ve crossed the line.”

  8. Your article is miss-representative of the facts. The truth is that business have always had these very same problems, there have always been people that come in charge their phones, use the bathroom,etc, frankly it’s good business practice to accommodate these people.

    There have always been vandalism and as times get harder for common people everywhere break-ins, and vandalism will continue to grow.

    This article is tantamount to blaming homelessness, the economic, or U.S and Global poverty on the occupy movement. It’s absurdity, the businesses having problems are having them because they are over taxed, over regulated, and are generally falling on hard economic times, because of bad policies!

    Not Occupy as you article asserts!

    Tell the truth don’t be a tool of the 1%!

  9. Each time I turn on the news it seems that Occupy Wall Street never goes unmentioned. With all this economic talk, my mind starts to wander. I can’t help but think about what would happen if all the money in the U.S. was evenly distributed to each person. I did a little research and found the amount was barely over $6,000. I found this to be quite shocking so I thought I’d share. I think about what I could do with that money. I’ve been wanting to remodel my home but I doubt that small amount would even cover half the equipment I’d need, let alone construction.

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