In the face of COVID-19, many businesses in Nye County have seen negative impacts and have been struggling to keep afloat as the pandemic continues to hold sway over government mandated restriction. In a lot of cases, those businesses have been able to turn to federal, state and local programs for assistance but not so for the brothel and marijuana industries, which are barred from utilizing a majority, if not all, of the available programs.
In an attempt to provide some relief to these particular industries, Nye County Commissioner Leo Blundo brought two agenda items to the commission during its Oct. 20 meeting. The first was a request to waive licensing fees for the brothel industry and the other, to waive licensing fees and credit late fees previously paid by marijuana establishments in the county. Though similar in nature, the reactions these two items elicited were quite different, with commissioners unanimously supporting the request on behalf of brothels while majority objected to the request on behalf of marijuana operations.
The commission started off by addressing the agenda item for the brothel industry, with Blundo explaining, “This industry has been shut down by the pandemic the entire time… I’m just asking this board to be equally fair to business across the slate… Being that this is one of the world’s oldest professions and we are one of the very few counties in the state that have this business model, this is a way to give back.”
It was noted that when Blundo had drafted the agenda item, the brothel industry was not eligible for any assistance programs. However, that had recently changed, with chairman John Koenig detailing that the brothel industry is now able to apply for CARES Act dollars through the county’s grants programs. This change came after