Is 'Occupy Wall Street' Hurting Small Business?

Is 'Occupy Wall Street' Hurting Small Business?

Occupy Wall St. protesters. Image via occupywallst.org

Regardless of what you think about Occupy Wall Street, this movement might be doing small businesses much more harm than good.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was quoted today in the New York Times saying:

“You know, I think increasingly you’re seeing that the community, businesses and residents in Lower Manhattan feel that they are the ones that are being occupied,” the mayor told reporters at an event in Central Park promoting the New York City Marathon.

“This isn’t an occupation of Wall Street,” he said. “It’s an occupation of a growing, vibrant residential neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, and it’s really hurting small businesses and families.”

Oakland Completely Shutdown

Is 'Occupy Wall Street' Hurting Small Business?

Protesters stand in front of Wells Fargo Bank on Nov. 2 in Oakland. Image via OccupyOakland.org.

Oakland, Calif. is on strike today. The organizers’ goal was to completely shut down the city and its ports. Banks have closed up shop as protesters stood in front of their doors. The Occupy Oakland site reads:

“Huge, enthusiastic, crowds are swirling through downtown Oakland. Police are staying away. All downtown banks have shut down. Come on down, it’s beautiful.”

We called Bank of Alameda today to see if we could help them find more qualified business borrowers. They said they couldn’t talk today, that they’re not open for business because of serious threats from the protesters.

In New York, small businesses are being hurt by protesters. The city of Oakland is shut down today. Some banks are unable to do business today, which means business loans aren’t being processed, which means businesses aren’t getting the capital they need, which means even more small businesses are being hurt by these protesters.

On Occupy Wall Street’s website, it reads:

“We are the 99%. We are not afraid. We are not waiting. We are working to make a better world.”

If the 99% are truly trying to make the world better, they don’t seem to care for small business, the engine that runs our economy.

But what do you think?

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  1. Your wrong about the demonstrations hurting small businesses, Dan. In fact, It doesn’t really hurt anyone considering the majority of the buildings being blocked are financial institutions that make millions and sometimes billions of dollars a year and continue to refuse credit for basic small business loans. The occupy protesters have actually helped small business owners short term by using more of their products and services. But, they are also helping them long term by not putting up with the big banks bullshit and making sure the world knows that big banks and corporate personhood have no place in our system.

    All the best,


  2. Adam, thanks for the comment. I admit, I could be wrong in some areas. I think there are many viewpoints with this. Question for you, do you disagree with the New York Mayor?

    • And by the way, looking at the news today about Oakland with all the riots, fires, closing of the port, damage to buildings and offices, some deaths … I’m not seeing the benefit to small business here.

      • Dan,
        I disagree with you about hurting small business. The big banks and wall street have had their foot on the throat of small business for many years. The time has come to right the damage done to the 99%. The amount of damage that may be done is very small compared to the damage done by the big boys. Do you know of any other way to change the culture of greed that has dominated our country? This will not be a perfect movement, but it is necessary!

        • Jim, thanks for your opinion. It’s inherently a controversial topic. A lot of different viewpoints.

        • Small businesses in NYC are staging a protest on Monday to protest against “Occupy Wall Street”. Seems that it is hurting small business.


  3. One problem with the wallstreet occupy people is that they are calling for moral and ethics from the top 1% and for less greed. When in fact they themselves are immoral and destructive in their protests and very greedy and selfish in their acts. It is creating the same energy they are supposedly against. immoral people cannot demand morality!! In Oakland there is violence and destruction.
    This does not help small business and certainly does not hurt the big boys
    Better to use their energy in more productive means.

    • Its all real simple this system is counterfeit plane and simple designed by greedy selfish self centered ego driven headless carless reptilian monsters that could care less how to help any one they all still believe in capitalist means…if America has a chance to survive impliment new creative solutions like reform reform reform indite greed….and remove the government ……

      • Billy,

        You, my friend, are a prime example of what’s wrong with this country…from the senseless, baseless, unqualified rambling that you parrot to the spelling & lack of punctuation. Only understandable if you posted from a mobile device…which, if you did, was made possible by our friend Capitalism. I don’t even understand what you’re trying to say…something about fake planes and reptiles who don’t own cars?

        What about the entire system is counterfeit? I’ll never argue with you on the fact that there are huge flaws…but really, you want to abolish capitalism in favor of new creative solutions? Like what? Look around at what else is out there kid, a lot of the world’s “other” options stifle creativity, entrepreneurialism, and basic rights to make your own way. And you say “remove” the Government? So what you’re saying is you’d like to go back to the days of the Wild West where it’s every man for himself and lawlessness is rampant becuase there’s no way to enforce it/protect the rights of the masses? Yeah, good call kid. Do yourself a favor…stop getting your news from the Internet and your friends sporting the Che Guevera t-shirts. Get an education, make yourself a life, and then see if you really have as much of a problem as you think you do now. My bet is you’ll like back and call yourself an idiot.

        I normally try not to sound like an @sshat on these things…but you pushed it there. If you’re going to make bold statements–at least have the balls to back them up with some kind of fact or reasoning. Otherwise it’s just meaningless hot air.

        Good luck kid, I”ve got a feeling you’re in for a needlessly rough ride.

  4. Oh, so now the banks are being prevented from making loans to business because of protesters? What was the excuse prior to that?

  5. Its not hurting small business because, were made to compete against the world, so the business wont make it no matter how much money they get.We cant afford to maintain what we have making what the Chinese make. Pollution regulations are good and green,but our Hippocratic government allows trading and imports from no regulation countries.So how can you trade any thing but raw commodities?You should not unless we can rule and regulate there governments.We cant.And with wall street moving all commodities to steel everyone’s savings.You cant plan

  6. Protesters are entering restaurants to ask for water, napkins, and to use the bathrooms, and NOT sitting and paying for a meal. There was one report of a broken sink because a protester was trying to bath in it. Sales are down, and some businesses are actually forced to lay-off some workers because of the protests. What has changed for the 1%? Nothing…..except they are not going down to spent their money on the street.

    Occupy: I don’y care how good your intentions are, you’re hurting the wrong people.

    • It sad to hear this from you a fellow slave that just dose not understand that the system is falling apart. The businesses will close in the next few months as we fall into the next depression. Eather way the bankes will take it sooner or later unless there is change.

    • Nothing like a litte propoganda of fear to rip apart our country. Keep up the good work, you and hte rest of the conservatives will have us destroyed in no time flat , IF anyone is stupid enouhg to listen to your lies

      • Let me get this straight. You’re saying Kyle is a right wing liar and that the occupy protests aren’t hurting anyone but their intended targets? Funny, especially since I found my way to this page after reading some articles on New Yorkers who couldn’t get to work today.

        It’s not hurting small businesses? Let’s play a game. Let’s pretend that you own a small shop in that land of make believe that you seem to live in. Business is picking up, you’ve got a good clientele. Suddenly–protests are widespread in Candyland. Protestors block the streets, stymie public transportation, etc. Those people you relied on to come to your shop now either can’t get there or decide it isn’t important enough to fight through the masses. You’ve got people coming in using your resources (heat, water, etc.) but giving nothing in return to make up for your loss of business. Hear that sound? That’s your revenue stream shrinking.

        Now you’ve got a shortage at the end of the month, you didn’t bring in enough money to cover your monthly expenditures and still turn a profit. Sure, you can dig into your profits/savings and pay it out, but that big chunk wasn’t a planned expense. Now you’ve got less to operate on the next month. Doesn’t sound so bad…but suddenly that money you didn’t think you’d miss is needed to make some repairs due to . Problem is you don’t have it because you had to raid the coffers to make ends meet last month. At this point you can’t afford repairs, can’t open without them, and can’t put off your creditors any longer, you’ve got to close up shop. All because the citizens of Candyland felt the best way to beat big business bailouts was to shut down public transportation and make the life of the Average Joe more difficult.

        Great plan…way to go.

        I’m a 99%er, but it’ll be a cold day in hell before I lower myself to your horribly lame thought process and rationale. Please, protest…it’s absolutely your right to do so. It’s how change is made. But don’t be a moron about it.

        Don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve got no problem using someone’s face for traction if they interfere with my ability to get to work to provide for myself or my family.

  7. This artical is writen by a banker. Look what they are doing in Greece – do you think the bankers should do this to us? We need to stand up because the end is near. Look at the CDS (currency default swaps) that the banks came up with and how the working class is holding the bill for trillions in losses.

  8. You are SO Ver y Wrong about this, the Occupoers are going to those small business everyday for food, clothing, water, etc etc etc.

    STOP the republican Rants, STAND up for AMERICANS not just your sorporate Croonies

  9. It has to or will be hurting many small business’ sooner or later. Quite a few of us rely on the 1% to produce the goods we sell and help keep the money flow going through the banks so we can borrow it!

  10. Love all the comments and opinions. Keep them coming.

  11. We can all banter nonsensical arguments all day…”It has or will hurt small businesses””Look at what they are doing in Greece””A protester broke a sink bathing” An educated individual should arrive to a conclusion based upon the evidence. According to national taxpayers union in 2009, the top 1% have decreased their percentage of federal personal income tax paid 1.29% while the bottom 50% has increased .45%. Because this is the most relevant data on hand, and because further policies, such as bush tax cut extensions, applicable for the wealthiest Americans. The protesters are arguing that because large banks issued mortgages that they knew were garbage, i.e. C bonds, they bundled to represent A level risk. The banks were bailed out and now continue to insult the general public.

  12. I think what these dear souls are trying to do, is catch your attention to what has been swept, under the carpet. The world’s carpet is getting a little lumpy…. They are using what they have to make this point. It was a “cosmic” contract, to accept this position….

    If each large business owner, put in a small percentage of partnering a small business from ground up, what do you think that might do to this sector. It may be a small amount of money and some mentoring… monthly, by the boss, not someone who does not know or care. (Or, buy them Eric’s Books and you could do a yearly conference call…)

    No time?

    I have asked several businesses to insert $10K into a Penny Stock Action Plan.. (someone just took a pic of this), sorry bout that….

    Usually, actually Never, do I get a response. So what is everyone so afraid of? Do you think its being withheld from me, ie: No email and the monitoring factor, or just no answer, don’t wish to get dirty hands?

    Gardening is quite calming, in the midst of a storm.
    You may even create some flowers and… a different future for dear Planet Earth.

  13. What I can’t see is why the 99% is not willing to work for their fair share. I am in the 99% and I work for my fair share. The formula goes like this get a job go to school get a better job. lets listen to the 99% ( grandma you cook so good you could write a book, grand ma goes to bank, bank says no, grandma use her money, cost for grandma $7,000, grandma loses money) question, who should grandma listen to the bank or the 99%. bankers and lenders know where the bus station is. Another little story, big dye plant doing extremely well so city wanted more money, works said they where not getting there fair share. city raised taxes on plant, workers protested, dye plant went to South America, no other plant in city for 40 years, no downtown, small businesses gone, high unemployment rate, people leaving to find work. question what is the fair share of 60 million dollars should 1% earn $1.98 and hour or maybe $5.95 hour for their investment of 60 million dollars. You see I am 68 years old seen a lot and heard a lot from older people. In the old days there where company towns when people protested against the company they left and towns died. Here’s a thought after people or companies have made enough money they stay not to make more, but to keep bread on your table and a roof over your head. You see it depends on how you look at things, is the glass half empty or half full.

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