By Makenzie O'Keefe

DENVER (CBS4)– It’s becoming more and more of a common sight, business owners in Denver are boarding up their store fronts to protect their shops while they’re shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s hard,” explained Juicy Wells, the store manager of Think Tank Tattoo. “It’s really hard.”

(credit: CBS)

The tattoo shop has been a fixture on South Broadway for about 14 years. Now, as Gov. Jared Polis has ordered non-essential personal service facilities to close until April 30, the shop it taking a big hit.

“At first when it was 14 days we thought that’s a long time and it’s going to be tough but we will make it,” Wells said. “But now, we kind of don’t know what we’re going to do. We have to find new jobs but nobody is really hiring right now.”

Wells said Think Tank Tattoo in home to about 11 tattoo artists who are now having to search for new work. Like many other local businesses, the big questions are whether the closure will be extended and how it will impact business in the future.

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“It might be something that well have to look at when we open and determine- Is it worth it? Is it something we can sustain?,” Wells said. “Or are we going to have to social distance indefinitely and we cant touch people and tattooing as we know it is done?”

(credit: CBS)

Like many other Denver businesses, this weekend they decided to close down and board up the storefront. Wells said in the past, neighboring businesses have had issues with people trying to shelter inside buildings.

“It’s a lot of open glass windows and uncertainty and a long time to be away from our storefront,” she told CBS4. “It was hard to do.”

While times are tough right now, the business has covered their boarded up windows in positive messages. The tattoo shop also donated the tools that will no longer be used to those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(credit: CBS)

“We collected all our gloves and our masks and things that we use while tattooing,” she said. “And donated them to an assisted living center because there is a shortage.”

Wells said while times are tough, their owner is working with other neighboring businesses to make sure they all support one another.

“The tattoo community is big but this is bigger than that,” Wells said. “I understand it, but this is scary.”

Makenzie O'Keefe


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