Vancouver's Semperviva Yoga permanently closes its four locations due to financial blow from COVID-19

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      The financial fallout from COVID-19 has begun to hit Vancouver.

      From YMCA to Yyoga, numerous fitness and yoga studios, gyms, and other exercise facilities have been temporarily closing, with some turning to online options to provide their members with.

      However, among the first permanent losses in the city from the health and fitness sector is Semperviva Yoga Studios, which announced its permanent closure on March 18 after operating for 25 years.

      It has closed its four locations in Kitsilano and Granville Island areas.

      The company stated on its website that the COVID-19 outbreak has prompted a steady stream of membership cancellations since February, which strained finances.

      After the government advisories on social gatherings and travel warnings, Semperviva was forced to cancel upcoming teacher training programs and workshops slated to start in April, which is a main source of revenue for the company.

      Semperviva closed its studios on March 15 for avoiding social gatherings.

      Faced with studio lease rate increases, the company became unable to pay rent this month.

      The company is focussing on paying employees and teachers who will have expediated access to employment insurance under new COVID-19 rules.

      While the physical locations have shut down, online training and retreats (scheduled later in the year in various locations) will continue on.

      B.C. premier John Horgan and finance minister Carole James stated on March 17 that the provincial government is working on an economic relief plan for the province.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook