PHILADELPHIA - Dave Portnoy, founder of Barstool Sports, has raised $29 million for small businesses struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Portnoy launched the fundraising effort with the nonprofit 30 Day Fund for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 called "The Barstool Fund." He contributed $500,000 of his own money toward the effort.
His passion for small businesses that have been especially devastated by the economic impacts of the pandemic drove him to start the fund.
"I’m super passionate about small business. In many respects, I still consider Barstool that. It took me forever for Barstool to become successful like the two decades I’ve been doing it. And around year 10 — half a decade into it — if a pandemic struck, we would be out of business and I would lose my life’s work," he said.
To be considered for the fund, Portnoy says he’s looking for businesses with a proven track record of success and owners who kept most of their employees on during the pandemic.
"We’ve had a lot of business owners who took second mortgages, sold their cars. They're redoing their lives to keep their employees on and to us, those are two things that should be rewarded as best you can," he added.
Several local businesses in our area have been helped by the fund, including Flanigan's Boathouse in Conshohocken and La Collina in Lower Merion.
"What he's providing is almost taking care of my payroll which is huge," Enzo Valent, owner of La Collina, told FOX 29 earlier this month. "He promises, very generous man, Mr. Portnoy, he says after three months if you are still in trouble, you let me know."
So far, 200,000 people have donated to the fund.
If you wish to donate to "The Barstool Fund," please click here.
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