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Protests Stifle Some Businesses In Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Democratic National Convention business may be booming in Center City, but that's not the case for restaurants and shops close to all the action at the Wells Fargo Center.

For two days in a row, customers have been replaced by DNC protestors supporting Bernie Sanders along S. Broad Street.

"There was really no problems at all, they passed through without any difficulties," said S. Broad resident Michaela Vasos.

But businesses are left feeling a different kind of burn.

"We were open, then the protestors came, the Bernie protestors, and we had two tables and after that everybody started calling, and cancelling and we closed," said John Varalli, who owns Scannicchio's Restaurant at Broad and W. Porter. "We opened at four and we closed at 6."

Varalli is closing the BYOB through Wednesday at a loss of thousands of dollars.

"This is the time of the year where you're looking to make your few extra dollars, and it hurts when you lose it like this," he said.

Beach Tanning South Philly plans to stay open throughout the convention, but road closures, parking restrictions, and the threat of protestors are keeping customers away.

"It's an inconvenience for everybody," Vasos said. "For business, for clients, customers, residents, everything. All on a whole, it's been a little taxing."

Vasos said instead of encouraging small businesses on Broad to close during the convention, the city should be doing more to help them benefit from the influx of visitors.

"They don't do anything to promote the business down here or help the business owners," she said. "They're all mom and pops, sole proprietors just trying to make a living."

Varalli hopes to open back up for dinner on Thursday, which is the last night of the convention.

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