Since September 17 protesters in Zuccotti Park have claimed to represent the 99%. That might not count the dozens of small businesses near the protest that have lost $479,400 since Occupy Wall Street began, according to the New York Post:
"A Post survey of a dozen restaurants, jewelry shops, beauty salons, a chain store and mom-and-pop establishments tallied almost a half-million dollars lost in the 53 days since the Zuccotti Park siege began on Sept. 17.
'We’re done with them!' barked one Broadway business owner. The restaurateur -- who requested anonymity for fear of reprisals -- said his profits drained as soon as campers moved in.
'My customers used to take food to eat in the park, but now they can’t,' he lamented."
Business owners told the Post that between clogged streets to reported assaults, shoppers are going elsewhere and avoid retailers near the Occupy Wall Street protest. In addition to repelling customers, business owners complained to the Post that protesters are occupying their stores:
"Stubborn occupiers, for example, often hold impromptu meetings inside coffee shop Pret a Manger, forcing workers to stay hours past closing time.
'They’d keep asking for 20 minutes, 20 minutes,' one worker complained.
And the coffee shop has lost loyal customers who now can’t find a place to sit."
Even more revolting, the owner of the Essex World Cafe told the Post that on two separate occasions he found that someone had defecated on his gate overnight. The manager of Ho Yip, a chinese restaurant next to Essex, says filthy cloths and underwear now carpet the restaurant's bathroom floor.
In early October NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said that the protest had cost the city $2 million in police overtime, but as of October 27, Public Safety chair Councilman Peter Vallone says that number has since ballooned to $5 million.