RUMFORD — The owner of Ink Maine has a plan to open his tattoo shop before the state’s schedule allows.

“The businesses opening in Phase 1 right now are what we would call unfair to Phase 3 businesses,” owner Kris Howes said in a YouTube video.

He said that he has prepared a plan based off of CDC guidelines as well as Gov. Janet Mills’ statements in CDC press conferences.

“We have a very realistic goal of opening for June 1,” Howes said. “We have a very valid case that supports everything and every single reason.”

He says that the shop, if allowed to open, will pre-screen customers weeks in advance, will provide masks at the door and will have sanitizing stations for before and after a session.

“I made sure that I covered all my grounds and sent this to every possible avenue that I could,” Howes said.

This includes Mills’ office. CBS 13 reached out for comment on this story, and they didn’t get back in time of publishing.

The Maine Association for Safe Tattooing says that they support the idea of opening tattoo shops before the projected time of July or August.

Association members say that multiple other shops have submitted plans to the state for review.

Some tattoo shops say they’re not sure how they feel about opening early.

“If it can be done safely, than I’m all for it,” Gold Star Tattoo shop owner Nick Reddi said. “Some people have a great deal of anxiety about going back to work, nobody wants to be the guinea pig if that goes wrong.”

The owner of Ink Maine in Rumford has a plan to open his tattoo shop sooner than what the state order mandates. WGME photo

Reddi and Howes say that the longer it takes for shops to be allowed to open, the less likely they will open.

“We are absolutely going to lose more businesses in the state of Maine than we are going to lose people from this virus,” Howes said.

“It would be sad to see,” Reddi said. “But it won’t be a surprise if there are some businesses or shops that don’t survive.”

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