Owners and employees of businesses near New York's Occupy Wall Street encampment showed up to work this morning to find that Zuccotti Park, where protesters had camped out for nearly two months, was finally empty.
Hours earlier, at around 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, hundreds of police officers had raided the park, evicting demonstrators and tearing down the tent city that had some local businesses calling for an end to the encampment due to its negative effect on sales.
HuffPost Small Business reached out to several small businesses near Zuccotti Park to get their reaction to this morning's eviction of Occupy Wall Street protesters. Here's what they had to say:
"I feel strange saying I'm dissapointed that they have been moved, but I am shocked at what happened overnight. I'm not sure what is going to happen to them, I don't think anyone really knows. Things are still very unsettled outside."
"Our job is to satisfy the needs of our customers, so if someone needs survival gear, we're here."
Tent and Trails
"I think things will get better. The park looks better, the neighborhood looks better, but I hear they are coming back tonight, so we shall see how long this lasts."
Essex World Cafe
"I'm praying as hard as you can imagine that the protestors don't return and that life goes back to normal very soon."
"This has done real damage to my business. We're in the neighborhood of 9/11 and people are so security-sensitive here. Once they saw these barricades go up, they just stayed in their offices, and my place can only be successful if the area outside is full of people and teeming with activity."
"But still, I hope that Occupy Wall Street becomes part of the normal political debate in our country rather than a physical movement in Lower Manhattan."
Milk Street Cafe