"Its obviously a very difficult time for small businesses like Farjo Hair Institute, but I believe it is only a temporary challenge."
Dr Bessam Farjo
A LEADING Manchester hair transplant surgeon is vowing his business will come back stronger than ever after being forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Farjo Hair Institute, on Quay Street, is one of a string of firms in the city that has shut its doors in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
It marks a low point in the 27-year history of the clinic, whose famous clients have included Coronation Street star Alan Halsall, ex-Manchester City manager Peter Reid and Cold Feet actor John Thomson.
But leading surgeon Dr Bessam Farjo believes his company and many like it will be able to wait out the crisis and come back strongly once it’s over.
He said: “It’s obviously a very difficult time for small businesses like Farjo Hair Institute, but I believe it is only a temporary challenge.
“We have had difficult and uncertain economic challenges before due to viruses or recessions and we have come through them.
“Maybe this time will be more severe and last longer, but we simply do not know that yet so we will have to continue as best we can.
“As long as everyone is sensible, there is no reason why we cannot come through the coronavirus pandemic in a healthy position.”
On Monday night Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the country on lockdown, with only essential shops such as supermarkets, newsagents and petrol stations to remain open.
It has left millions of Britons fearing for their jobs as more and more businesses are forced to cease operating.
The Farjo Hair Institute, widely regarded as one of the leading centres of its type in the world, employs 20 staff who are all on full contracts.
And Dr Farjo insists the welfare of his workers is among his biggest concerns until the pandemic clears.
He added: “It is difficult to know how this will affect us long term.
“If the economy goes into a deep recession, will people be able to afford to come to us for treatment?
“If we lose footfall it will affect our ability to pay for overheads such as staff and rates bills.
“The pandemic has had a huge impact on the economy in a short space of time. Other businesses such as airlines are already laying staff off.
“We have around 20 staff and many of them have been with us a long time. I see no reason why we cannot keep them all, but we have to wait and see how this pandemic affects the business in the longer-term.
“Right now my concern is for my staff and their livelihoods.”