In the realm of ironic unintended consequences, this one takes the cake. Bloomberg reports that Occupy Wall Street protesters are stifling some local businesses in Manhattan's Financial District, to the point that shops and eateries might have to close their doors. These are small businesses not owned by the corporate giants, mind you.
From the story:
Occupy Wall Street protests assailing income inequality, joblessness and big banks may have some unintended consequences. They're hurting nearby merchants as police barricades deter shoppers.
"If this doesn't stop soon I will be out business," said Marc Epstein, 53, president of Milk Street Cafe on Wall Street, less than a block from the New York Stock Exchange.
Sales have dropped about 20 percent since the protests began last month and the 103 jobs created by the cafe's opening in June are now at risk, said Epstein, who's not alone. Caroline Anderson, general manager of Boutique Tourbillon, a Wall Street jewelry store, said customer traffic is down about 20 percent, and Vincent Alessi, a managing partner at Bobby Van's Steakhouse on Broad Street, said his lunch business has been cut in half.
The Occupy Wall Street movement that began in New York with about 1,000 people on Sept. 17 has spread to cities on four continents as demonstrators from London to Rome and Chicago to Sydney have pitched tents in public spaces. Police, whose displays of force also may be hurting business as they block access to tourist destinations, have arrested hundreds.
"These protesters don't understand the consequences of their actions," Epstein said. "Who's going to create the jobs they're banging their drums for?"
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