Grand Junction business owners open up about their struggles with COVID and how they've adapted. Here's what a local tattoo shop and barbershop owner have to say.

We spoke with the owner of Sharp Image Barbershop, Manny Ramirez, and the owner of 501 Tattoos, Francisco Ruelas about running a business during the coronavirus pandemic. We wanted to know some of the challenges they've come across and how they've overcome them.

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Manny says that COVID-19 has not only affected his industry, but also people in general. He's had customers completely do a 180 and go from wearing multiple gloves and bringing hand sanitizer with them to making fun of others wearing masks.

Manny always has masks at Sharp Image Barbershop in Grand Junction and offers every customer one. He says that it's been challenging when there are customers who don't believe in wearing masks. Loyalty is a big part of his business, so this puts Manny in a tough position.

Manny says that he keeps his shop, Sharp Image Barbershop, as clean as possible. He says he's glad that everyone at his shop and all clients has managed to stay healthy.

Francisco Ruelas was forced to shut down 501 Tattoos in March for six weeks, which he says was stressful. He used this time to reschedule appoints, get his shop in order and create paintings which he also sells. Francisco says he filed for assistance for his shop but didn't end up getting any due to complications from an overflow of applicants.

Francisco has adapted to COVID-19 by only allowing people getting tattoed behind the counter, requiring masks, he has hand sanitizer everywhere in his shop and is constantly cleaning. Francisco is now using any extra time he has to work on an apparel line.

He looks forward to when things open back up and thinks that people will be way more grateful for human interaction and people will be more appreciative of each other in general. Francisco from 501 Tattoos in Grand Junction hopes to see people come together and get along in the future.

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