An exclusive private country club in Florida, where a coveted membership costs $250,000, seemingly gave its members an ultimatum — accept a federal loan meant to help small businesses or increase member dues by $5,000 to prevent a layoff of employees.
The ritzy Fisher Island Club, in a Monday email obtained by The Post, announced it was conducting a straw poll of its members to determine whether to accept a federal Paycheck Protection Program loan — which it has applied for, but not yet been approved.
Members have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to cast their votes.
In its appeal to club members, the board of directors wrote that the club “is projected to lose many, many millions in revenue in 2023” because it was closed when Miami-Dade County shuttered all hotels, restaurants, marinas, spa facilities, golf course and tennis courts.
“If we keep all employees on payroll (as is our desire), the Club will have a projected deficit,” the club wrote in its email.
“The Club Board and management, along with the unanimous recommendation of the Finance Committee and in accordance with its fiduciary responsibility for the financial stability of the Club, made the business decision to apply for the PPP Loan.”
The club wrote that, if accepted, loan proceeds would be used to fund the payroll and benefits costs for employees.
“It is worthy of note that most eligible Clubs applied for the PPP loans,” club directors wrote.
The vote has angered club members, including high-profile lawyer Thomas Lauria, who hammered the board in an email to the club, which was obtained by The Post.
“The decision of the Club Board to secretly pursue US Government PPP financing without any advance disclosure to or input from its members is NOT HELPFUL,” Lauria wrote.
The country club’s poll comes after the Fisher Island Community Association, a homeowner’s association that is separate from the club, unanimously voted not to accept a $2 million loan it was approved for after residents voiced outrage.
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