Tattoo parlors still waiting on word on when they can reopen

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — In the plan to reopen businesses in Ohio, one industry says it is being left in the dark.

Tattoo parlor owners say they’re still waiting to see a solid timeline to open, even as other industries are given the green light.

In 15 years of business, High Street Tattoo has never seen this kind of low.

”Being closed and the bills piling up is devastating,” owner Joey Knuckles said.

The Short North shop owner has been shut down since mid-March, leaving his 10 employees, many independent contractors, out of a job.

It’s a shadow of what has happened across the state.

“If you did not have a certain amount in your bank account when this started, you are out of business,” Knuckles said of the situation.

So far in the plan to reopen Ohio, the retail industry has been given a set date, and the governor had set up advisory groups to look at restaurants, salons, and gyms, but so far, no mention of tattoo shops.

“Is it going to be legal to do someone’s nails but not legal to get a tattoo over an airborne pathogen? Because I think that’s the same risk,” Knuckles said.

The order to extend Ohio’s stay safe period mandated tattoo shops stay closed until at least May 29. Knuckles believes with low traffic, appointment scheduling, and high sanitation procedures already in place, tattooists are ahead of the curve.

”To discount one industry over another, I think, is really short sighted and hurtful,” Knuckles said. 

While High Street Tattoo and other shops across the state wait for the day the tattoo industry can get to work again, Knuckles believes there is a bright spot ahead. 

When the temporary lockdown is lifted, people may be looking for a way to remember it — permanently.

“For good, bad, or indifferent, people will be marking themselves one way or another to mark this time, I’m sure,” Knuckles said.

High Street Tattoo’s artists are selling custom artwork during the shutdown. If you’d like to learn more you can go to their website or their Instagram page.

Coronavirus in Ohio resources:

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