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Delaware Small Business Owner Pens Open Letter To The Governor

My husband is a Tattoo Artist at a local tattoo shop in Dover Delaware. Our house has been a little somber for the past two months! When Governor Carney mandated the shutdown, we were directly affected. As a family of five, going without his income is crucial. Unemployment hasn’t been offered to subcontractors until this coming week. We have emailed collectively as a business family to the Governor with zero response.

As of May 8th, the Governor opened up hair salons with limitations. My biggest question to the Governor is, “How do you allow businesses under the same licensing code to open and tell the others (Nail Salons, Tattoo Parlors, Tanning Salons, etc.) they can not. It feels like a little bit of hypocrisy. I will speak on behalf of the tattoo artists, being that I have spoken directly to many of them in Delaware. These men and women are trained on bloodborne pathogens, property sanitation, and most shops operated with individual rooms. How is this any different than other businesses?

They are told if they do this “illegally” they will have their licenses revoked and be fined. But, I ask what choice are you leaving people? Two months of no income!!!! For someone with a mortgage, car payments, insurance, student loans, wifi(kids have online schooling now!), and of course groceries? How is this doable?

And then, we approach the “mental” side of things. To you, tattooing isn’t essential. To me, it takes care of my family. My friend’s families. It is an expression of the artistic side. You can’t “go live” and have a tip bucket. You can’t do a curbside pick up! You lose the emotional connection with these customers, which sometimes is more beneficial than therapy!

So I recommend, open up with restrictions. Lock the doors, appointments ONLY, masks works, gloves are already used, as is the practice of proper sanitation. Don’t let these small businesses fail. If you can stand in Lowes and get your paint, get your roots touched up, buy local beers and food, you should be able to get a Tattoo! We are ALL essential!

If you have a small business and would like us to share your shutdown story please message us on Facebook.

About Staff Writer

First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at

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