Strip clubs, other ‘disfavored’ businesses entitled to emergency loans in pandemic -U.S. judge

Reuters

A U.S. judge ruled on Monday that strip clubs cannot be blocked from obtaining emergency federal loans during the coronavirus pandemic, and declared invalid a rule barring a wide range of businesses from obtaining those loans. U.S. District Judge Matthew Leitman in Flint, Michigan, issued a preliminary injunction barring the U.S. Small Business Administration from enforcing a rule to exclude businesses that present live performances or sell products of a “prurient sexual nature” from loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. The judge also said the SBA cannot exclude other businesses such as banks, political lobbying firms and restricted private clubs from the roughly $660 billion program, saying Congress intended to support all qualified small businesses, including those it might have been “disfavored” before the pandemic struck. “Simply put, Congress did not pick winners and losers in the PPP,” Leitman wrote. “It would ordinarily be absurd to conclude that Congress meant to provide financial assistance to, among others, certain sexually oriented businesses and private clubs that discriminate,” he added. “But these are no ordinary times, and the PPP is no ordinary legislation.”

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