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Eugene Hoffman, 28, had hoped to open his tattoo parlor on Ashkelon's promenade as usual on Tuesday, after a hiatus of two weeks, but two sirens interrupted his stroll to work before he could open the doors of Art Club Tattoo, and Hoffman left the premises.

When he emerged from the protected area at the promenade where he had taken cover, Hoffman decided there was no point in returning to the store; the street had completely emptied of pedestrians.

"Over the past two weeks my business has died. There is no pedestrian traffic, no nothing," Hoffman says. "Business began to fall off immediately after the holidays, because of the economic situation," he added. If the Home Front Command allows it, he can supposedly open up shop, he says. But tattoos and piercing involve work with sterile instruments, and when a siren goes off and he has to run to a shelter, this upsets the process "so most days there is no point in opening the store," says Hoffman. "I'm overdrawn by NIS 30,000 and my credit card has been canceled," he says.

Six months ago, his business was considered successful, but now, he says, he doesn't know how he'll make it through the war. "It's not one of those businesses you can operate from home."

Hoffman says he has asked the bank to be patient, since an assistance program for small businesses is being drawn up. "My banker told me that there is no plan yet, and that I would have to cover my overdraft or I would be sued."

If he doesn't get a loan quickly, Hoffman says, he will have to leave Ashkelon and set up shop elsewhere.