A BARBER in York who is celebrating his salon's 10th anniversary says the next year could be the toughest yet.

James Gilbertson runs Crew in Gillygate and rents out chairs to four self-employed stylists. He said the past decade had been successful, with the team still managing to make a living during the pandemic. However, he said the coronavirus crisis had been difficult .

"It is not one of those businesses you can do online; you can't order it from Amazon."

James said: "We have done everything asked of us to keep people safe in Crew so when the news of lockdown 2 came it felt like a huge blow to the team."The uncertainty of whether we will reopen on December 2 is unsettling for the team. I worry about the effect this is going to have on our mental health during lockdown.

"The next year is going to be unpredictable and challenging for all businesses. We cannot wait to reopen and continue providing our service to the best of our ability."

He added: "We closed during the first lockdown and had to wait 103 days. We had to sit tight and wait for the government to announce we could continue trading. We had an appointment book before we reopened and the first few weeks it was absolutely packed, like Christmas week.

Then we had the quietest two weeks we have ever had. That was quite common in the industry. Since then it has been a bit below average for this time of year. "

James said Crew was one of a small number of barbershops in the city when it opened, but that number has grown significantly since then.

"If I was to start up now, I am not sure I would - there's so much competition, it would be such a big risk."

He added: "Our biggest aim is to get through the next 12 months. We feel like it will be the toughest we will face with the pandemic. If we get through that we will try and go for the next ten years."