Appeals court upholds ruling to deny strip club COVID-19 relief loan


COVID-19 relief loans are a no-go for go-go joints, a New York federal appeals court has ruled.

The decision upheld the move by a bank to deny a Buffalo-area strip club a $350,000 coronavirus relief loan.

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the bank did not violate the law by denying Pharaoh’s Gentlemen’s Club the loan because the federal Payment Protection Program bars funds from going to jiggle joints.

Under the PPP program, coronavirus loans cannot flow to businesses that have “live performances of a prurient sexual nature.”

Lawyers for Pharaoh’s in Cheektowaga argued that the restriction violated the club owners’ constitutional right to freedom of speech.

Pharaoh’s Gentlemen’s Club, in Cheektowaga NY
Pharaoh’s Gentlemen’s Club, in Cheektowaga, NY.
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But the appeals court agreed with a lower-court decision that blocked the club from getting the loan, ruling that declining to fund activities covered by the First Amendment did not violate the club’s constitutional rights.

A lawyer for the club told the Buffalo News that he was “troubled by the decision” and was weighing options on whether to proceed with an appeal.

With Post wires

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