Chippendales — the company that promotes exotic male dance troupes — is hiring political lobbyists as it seeks financial relief from a potential new round of federal pandemic aid.
Chippendales has retained the services of the white-show law and lobbying firm Greenberg Traurig to lobby for them on a pandemic-era program that was designed to provide relief for concert halls, movie theaters, and other ventures in the live events industry, Politico reported.
Lobbying records indicate that this is the first time Chippendales has retained federal level lobbyists.
The company’s move to hire lobbyists to help them secure pandemic relief shows how business of all shapes and sizes have been significantly impacted by COVID-19.
During the country’s 2020 economic shutdowns, closures hit the entertainment industry, especially live entertainment, hard. Like many other companies across the nation, Chippendales had to adapt to the “new normal” and even had to cancel its “Get Naughty” tour and live performances in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The company’s performers, adorned in their signature bow ties, cuffs, and short-shorts, posted at-home workout tutorials to keep the brand alive since they couldn’t perform. And instead of gyrating for bachelorettes in person, the company had its dancers host half-hour virtual strip teases through video conferencing services like Zoom, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts.
Now, Chippendales’ dancers have returned to the stage and are even joined by Vinny Guadagnino of “Jersey Shore” fame.
Chippendales has hired lobbyists as lawmakers on Capitol Hill are considering one final round of Covid relief that would provide assistance for small businesses including entertainment venues.
Prior to departing for its Easter recess, the US House of Representatives passed a bill containing Covid relief, but this bill faces strong opposition in the Senate where it needs support from at least ten Republicans who, as a party, have appeared hesitant to spend more on federal covid relief amidst of soaring inflation.
That said, Chippendales is not alone in the pursuit of more federal assistance. Trade groups that put on trade shows, convention hosts, and even escape rooms are joining Chippendales to lobby for federal relief.
Previously, concert venues and theaters had been included in federal relief programs that offered them an equivalent to 45% of their gross earned revenue in relief, and the venues were eligible for even more relief from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan initiative.
Despite this being the first time Chippendales has hired lobbyists, the company has previously worked with the government to trademark its signature collar and cuffs outfits.