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Published on November 15th, 2011 | by Connie Sung Moyle

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Is Occupy Wall Street Good or Bad for Small Business?

Ever since supporters of Occupy Wall Street staged their first demonstrations in New York’s Zuccotti Park nearly two months ago, everyone from the President to the owner of my neighborhood coffee shop has expressed an opinion about the movement. In fact, it was a chat with Ali (the aforementioned coffee shop owner) that got me thinking: What do other small, independently owned businesses think about Occupy Wall Street? Do they believe it helps or hurts small companies?

So, we recently sent a short online survey to a portion of our small-business customer base. Since the topic is a little controversial, we sent it out as an anonymous survey, so there’d be no way to link any specific answer or comment to a name or company (unless the person chose to disclose it).

Here are some of our findings:

  • Occupy Wall Street says it’s standing up for the 99 percent of the U.S. population being exploited by the wealthy 1 percent. We asked respondents where they think their income places them along the spectrum:

Occupy Wall Street Survey
The clear majority of those surveyed are within the 99 percent – maybe no huge surprise there.

  • Interestingly, respondents were nearly evenly split when asked whether they supported Occupy Wall Street:

Occupy Wall Street Survey

  • Of those who support the movement, 73 percent say it helps small business:

Occupy Wall Street Survey

  • Of those who oppose the movement, though, nearly 82 percent say it hurts small business:

Occupy Wall Street Survey

These last two findings might suggest that detractors are more confident that it hurts small business, while perhaps Occupy Wall Street supporters align with the movement for reasons other than its impact on small business.

So, despite what many may think, small businesses aren’t decisively in one specific camp when it comes to Occupy Wall Street. And while our views may differ, one thing’s clear: small businesses aren’t shy about voicing their opinion when it comes to our country’s future, which we’re all for!

P.S. As an added bonus, we shared the results with several small business reporters and got some great media coverage as well. Check out some of the articles in our “VerticalResponse in the News” section.

Has the Occupy Wall Street movement had any effects on your business? Do you feel that its message is good or bad for small business in general? Take a moment to share your opinion in the comments!

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About the Author

Connie Sung Moyle

Connie Sung Moyle is the Public Relations Manager at VerticalResponse.



3 Responses to Is Occupy Wall Street Good or Bad for Small Business?

  1. Olivia Palmieri says:

    Olivia Palmieri

    Fantastic blog.Thanks Again.

  2. Marge says:

    Those that oppose Occupy Wall Street DO understand the dynamics. Protesters are sending UNCLEAR messages and should be in Washington DC where our illustrious lawmakers have been and are making slow/no progress. VOTE. That is your right. VOTE. Sound bites are all the media will give you. Vote these knuckleheads out of office. If they’ve been in government before they probably have their hand in some till. People (and corporations are run by people) will get away with whatever they can. I think the Tea Party and Occupy Wallstreet citizens have more in common than you know.

  3. GrowMap says:

    Those who are opposed to what the protesters are doing do not fully understand how multi-national corporations and banks (often referred to as banksters for good reason) have intentionally damaged our economy.
    I and others like me support what the occupy movement is doing because we know the solution is to reverse the changes in the Capital Gains tax rates that are causing the huge economic disparity. Low capital gains rates coincide with the Great Depression and what some refer to as The Great Recession.
    It is NOT the entire 1% that is to blame but that fits more neatly on a sign and in sound bites and the data regarding where the actual cut-off would be is not easily found. I have been searching for it since this began and only yesterday found the actual average income of the top 1% which is over $1.3 million and not the “income split point” of $343,927 being used to get more people to believe they are part of the wealthy elite protesters blame for doing away with jobs, careers, pensions, benefits and hope.
    A common strategy used by those who oppose a movement is to have infiltrators incite violence and behave badly so they can catch them on tape and portray their detractors in the worst possible light. The same wealthy elite who own the media own the multi-national corporations and banks and control the way the protesters are being portrayed hoping to get many to oppose their actions.
    The reason we must now protest is that the money of the global elite has co-opted all three branches (Executive, Legislative and Judicial) and even law enforcement with their money.
    Protests are our only recourse except for what else we need to do: support small business and Fair Trade, buy local, be willing to pay a reasonable price for what we need (not wanting everything for the least possible cost), and to stop supporting multi-national corporations.

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