Barstool Sports raises over $2.5 million for struggling businesses in one week

Dave Portnoy, founder of Barstool Sports has raised over $2.5 million dollars in a campaign to save small businesses in just one week.

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA

Dave Portnoy, founder of Barstool Sports announced on Tuesday that his campaign to save small businesses has raised over $2 million dollars from over 36,000 donors in just one week of being live. That number had grown to $2.5 million by the end of the day.

Last Thursday, Portnoy announced that he was launching "The Barstool Fund" to help small businesses keep their doors open. In a video he tweeted out for the kickoff announcement, Portnoy said that he was setting up the $500,000 fund to try to help restaurants get to the next month until the coronavirus pandemic ends.

Portnoy, known by fans as "El Presidente," kickstarted a national fundraiser last week to support small businesses impacted by pandemic. On TMZ Live last Tuesday, Portnoy revealed that he kicked in $500k of his own money for the Barstool Fund and that he was hoping that crowdsource funding would keep the initiative alive and sustainable.

Portnoy posted videos to Twitter outlining his fundraising plans and how donors can help. Portnoy said he's been "blown away" by the response so far.

According to ABC6, Portnoy said for every $100 deposit from new users on the new sports betting app, Barstool Sportsbook, Penn National Gaming would match the $100 to help the market reach its fundraising goals.

"These people aren't going out of business because they're not successful or not making any money. It's because they have no other choice," Portnoy said in a video posted to Twitter. "They've been dealt a hand that nobody can play."

"They're already on their last legs, and you're pulling the plug on them," Portnoy said in a video on Twitter. "Nobody seems to care in the government, or at least they're not doing anything acting like they care."

Portnoy said that the model for restaurants that were eligible for the grants was Borelli's in Long Island which has been hit hard by the pandemic. Frankie Borelli, the owner's son, is a Barstool producer.

Portnoy said that the payments will start in January, adding that Barstool will also sell merchandise from the businesses to help raise money.

"What good does it do to help you for two months and then disappear, and then go out of business the next month?" Portnoy said in a Twitter video.

This comes as Democrat governors across the county add restrictions and shutter more businesses during the holiday season when most retailers make their profits for the year.

Last Friday, Portnoy posted a response to New York Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo announcement that all indoor dining in New York City will be closed down due to continued spread of COVID-19.

Portnoy said that donors can contribute through GoFundMe once the initial $500,000 runs out. Portnoy pledged to keep funding the program himself to keep it going for months if necessary.

Portnoy said businesses can apply for funding by emailing the Barstool Fund at Applicants to the fund can even specify how much money they need and what it's for. Portnoy concluded by saying that the only requirement is that these businesses must still be paying their employees.


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