Burnley tattoo and beauty studio Acherontia doing its bit to help Ukraine despite cost of living troubles
The man behind Acherontia in Hall Street, which opened in 2015, says his energy bills are now as high as his rent.
Despite his worries, owner Wayne Porter has been offering jobs to Ukrainian refugees as tattoo artists.
Wayne said: “I’m lucky the studio has stayed strong but it’s not as successful as it was. I was always doing the studio up. Now it is in a stalemate. If a bed breaks, I won't be able to replace it.
“The profits are just going on bills. And the bills are more than the rent. It’s absolutely ridiculous in this day and age.”
The businessman has also seen prices rise for daily essentials like inks and gloves.
"A box of gloves before lockdown used to be around £5. It rose to £15 during the lockdown. It’s now gone down to £10.”
Wayne would like to see the Government offer grants to independent businesses and increase the minimum wage to give shoppers more spending power.
“Our clientele pays our wages; but it isn’t as big as it was. Helping the general public would be the key factor because they don’t have spare money. Helping with their wages would help the economy.
"We haven’t increased our prices. I’m contemplating it, but we can’t afford to charge anymore.”
He added: “I think a lot of people are getting agitated with the way things are. If things don’t change, a lot of businesses are going to close. The economy is going to collapse. Everybody is going to be living on universal credit. It’s like we’re dependent on the Government now. But it should be dependent on us.”
Wayne believes it is vital to support people less fortunate where you can.
He said: "Everyone needs to help each other. We support many Ukrainian artists looking for work. We have another Ukrainian artist starting at the end of the month. An organisation from Manchester got in touch with me and asked if we could help. I had a Ukrainian girl with me at the time then she found some work in Manchester. Another girl, who is an established artist, contacted me and asked for work.”