Strip clubs are the latest type of business to want government assistance to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The owners of three strip clubs in Michigan and Wisconsin have filed suit against the U.S. Small Business Administration in recent days, asserting they should be eligible for loans as part of the CARES Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump.
The strip clubs that sued were the Little Darlings strip club in Flint, Mich., and Silk Exotic Gentlemen's Clubs in Milwaukee and Middleton, Wis., according to CNN.
The Small Business Administration says businesses with live performances of a “prurient sexual nature” are not eligible for the loans.
“The emergency regulations promulgated by the Small Business Administration … improperly and unconstitutionally limit benefits to businesses and workers unquestionably engaged in First Amendment-protected expression,” a lawsuit filed on behalf of Little Darlings says.
The lawsuit says Little Darlings wants to take part in the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program, which provides small businesses with funds to pay their employees.
Meanwhile, a company headed by strip club owner Jason Mohney also filed suit against the Small Business Administration. His company owns more than two dozen strip clubs in Michigan, Nevada, Louisiana, Illinois, Florida, Oklahoma and California, according to the Detroit News. Among these are Déjà Vu and Hustler.
“People we work with are part of our team, our family, so you start off by telling your family members that they're out of a job and you're not sure when they will get their jobs back,” Mohney told the newspaper. “You work all your life to build something up and in the blink of an eye you're starting all over again.”
His employees, he said, are struggling.
“Depression is setting in from not having work,” he told the Detroit News. “It’s a terrible thing to think about. Work gives them a sense of purpose, so when you eliminate a job, it kind of eliminates some of their sense of purpose. Not going to a job every day is starting to make people crazy.”
Photo courtesy: JP Valery/Unsplash
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.