EL PASO, Texas -- Red Parrot owner Darius Belcher has lost over $360,000 in alcohol sales alone since the pandemic began.
Belcher has filed for PPP, Lift and SBA financial assistance, but they have all denied him due to his sexually-oriented business.
”The first day, March 19th, it was the first day of the pandemic. I got online because I heard on ABC-7 go get some some local help on the Lyft Fund. I went to the Lyft Fund and filled out every question. It has a question on there are you a live entertainment or are you adult entertainment? I clicked the button… You have been denied,” Belcher told ABC-7.
The owner of Red Parrot is frustrated because other adult businesses that are BYOB are allowed to operate, but he has to follow the city health mandates or his liquor license will be removed.
He worries about his 25 employees who all had to find other employment when the shutdown began.
The dancers, who are not on the payroll, are feeling the pinch as well.
“Unfortunately no, there is no unemployment for dancers. I actually don't qualify for a lot of government help, so basically right now I'm relying on my husband,” Jessica Barrera, a Red Parrot worker, said.
The exotic dancer feels she isn't being treated fair, adding, ”It makes you feel less than, because you provide a different service and it’s still a job, you know. I go home and I become a mother, I become a wife.”