The Free Speech Coalition (FSC) has released a handy resource guide for members of the adult business, covering the various governmental assistance programs that may be available to them for relief during the COVID-19 / coronavirus crisis.
To All Workers in the Adult Entertainment Industry
We hope that everyone is staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to provide some information and resources to help you get through the financial stress resulting from government orders and public health measures like social distancing protocols.
If you haven’t filled out the Adult Industry Worker Covid-19 Impact Survey, please do so now.
If you have a question that we haven’t answered in the FAQ below, please reach out.
Is it true that adult entertainment businesses and workers aren’t eligible for government assistance?
In fact, several adult businesses have already received funds. Which program(s) you may be eligible for depends on whether you operate a business or work as an independent contractor.
The federal aid is unavailable for work involving a “prurient sexual interest,” but the term “prurient” has a very narrow legal meaning—a shameful or morbid interest in sex, nudity, and excretion. Considering the outcome of some of the last obscenity cases, it may well be that very little, if any, of what the adult entertainment and pleasure products industry does involves content that is shameful or morbid. There are at least recent two federal court cases pending—and there will no doubt be more soon—pressing the point that the “prurient sexual interest” restriction does not apply to most sexually-oriented businesses.
Are adult entertainment workers eligible for unemployment?
MAYBE. Previously, unemployment benefits have not been available to sole proprietors or independent contractors but, for this COVID-19 crisis, Congress created the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program to cover those groups.
Applications for this program are made through state agencies, many of which are still working to implement it. On the plus side, once available, it is retroactive to Jan. 27, 2020.
To find your local agency, click here.
If I’m paid through an LLC or corporation, am I eligible for assistance?
MAYBE. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is part of the CARES Act. It contains new and important provisions making this financial assistance available to sole proprietors (one-person businesses) and to independent contractors as well. That may be you. What’s more, although this assistance comes in the form of a loan from the federal Small Business Administration, if you pay wages or salaries instead of laying off workers, the loan will be forgiven and won’t need to be paid back. Click here to learn more and apply.
I heard that all of the CARES Act money is gone. Is that true?
The funds in the first bill did run out, but Congress has added more money to the program, which is available as of Monday, April 27th. These loans are given on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is important to act quickly. Click here to learn more and apply.
The following links may help you to apply for government assistance if you have lost income as a result of the COVID-19 government orders and public health measures.
CARES Act Loans
• APAC’s Covid-19 Guide
• Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Steps to take if you have trouble paying your bills or meeting other financial obligations
• Your Money: A Hub for Help During the Coronavirus Crisis