OTTAWA -- EPIC Fitness and Lifestyle in Ottawa has closed its doors for the final time, saying "we have surrendered" to the COVID-19 pandemic

"As a small boutique business in the fitness and wellness industry, we stand no chance against this pandemic," said EPIC Fitness and Lifestyle Founder and CEO Stephanie Karlovits.

"With the public perception of the virus, having a large physical location to keep up with, and being a  business whose economic power is derived from people congregating together, breathing heavily (one must see the humour in the tragedy), it simply is not possible to continue."

Karlovits writes that her business was not eligible for government funding to assist with the rent costs.

"We did not feel it appropriate to reopen our doors in line with the wishes of our many clients, and it would have cost us more to open than to stay closed regardless," said Karlovits.

"Our landlords have suffered themselves throughout this time, and we could not find a suitable way forward doing things the old way. Everything has changed."

Karlovits says the current employees of EPIC Fitness and Lifestyle are now business owners themselves.

The final day for EPIC Fitness was Friday, Dec. 4. EPIC Fitness was located on Beechwood Avenue.

"Our teachings have stayed constant, centered on liberation – liberation through body movement, holistic nutrition, nature and self care," writes Karlovits in the social media post titled "We have surrendered."

"As we know and have taught for many years, the only way forward is through surrender. The time has come for us to take in our own teachings."

EPIC Fitness is the latest Ottawa business to close during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, the ByTowne Cinema announced it will close on Dec. 31.

Several restaurants in Ottawa have also closed this year, including the Fish Market restaurant, Tuckers Marketplace, the Highlander, StoneFace Dolly's, Don Cherry's Kanata, DiVino, and the Wellington Eatery