Many of the independent Turkish and Kurdish grocery shops, takeaways and hairdressers in the street do not have shutters or security guards. So closing early and going home just isn't an option.
Workers, friends and relatives stood on guard — some with baseball bats — outside the businesses yesterday evening after word spread at about 4pm that a loot was being planned.
In the end, the rioters didn't arrive. But many business owners fear they are the ones that would be punished by police if fights did break out.
"We were outside ready and expecting them," said the manager of the Turkish Food Market, who asked not to be named.
"I felt very panicky because we are not safe from either the rioters or police. We put all of our efforts into this shop. It took 20 years to get it like this. But we do not know about our rights. I'm scared that the police and the government will attack us if we defend our businesses. We are being squeezed between the two dangers."
Huseyin Yavuz, the manager of another grocery store and off licence across the road, told me two nearby businesses had been burgled in the early hours of Sunday morning, after first riots in Tottenham, and their owners had been told there were no officers available to respond.
But when workers later took to the streets with bats to defend the shops, they were warned by police that they could be arrested.