Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy has launched an initiative to help keep struggling small businesses afloat as they continue to suffer from lockdowns, saying something has to be done since government won't get "off their a**" and do something about it.
What are the details?
Portnoy, who has been on a rampage against coronavirus restrictions, said in a video announcing his fund that he is going to put his money where his mouth is and donate $500,000 to what he has dubbed the "Barstool Fund."
He admitted, "Is it the best plan? No. The best plan is the government getting of their a** and issuing relief, billions of dollars to these small business owners who are losing their livelihoods. That's the solution. That's the only solution really, but barring that, we're going to do whatever we can."
Portnoy noted that New York City recently banned indoor dining in response to COVID-19, saying, "How do you expect these people to survive? How are restaurants going to survive? They're already on their last legs, and you're pulling the plug on them. And nobody seems to care in the government—or at least they're not doing anything acting like they care."
Introducing The Barstool Fund If you are a small business that needs help staying in business because of covid ema… https://t.co/ueZjIVmy6r— Dave Portnoy (@Dave Portnoy) 1608238281.0
The first recipient from the Barstool Fund is the owner of Borrelli's in Long Island, whose son, Frankie Borrelli, is Portnoy's cameraman.
The elder Borrelli has continued to pay his employees despite all of the government restrictions and lockdowns imposed, which Portnoy says is a requirement for anyone to receive approval.
Mr. Borrelli became choked up in reaction to the news, and said through tears that he would have had to close down in January without the help.
He told Portnoy in a video, "Dave, I really want to thank you for starting this fund. You don't know what it means to us," adding, "My staff, they have mortgages, families. You don't know how many people you are helping."
To @stoolpresidente, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It means more than you will ever know. My Dad can’t w… https://t.co/r6fNcqGTad— Frankie Borrelli (@Frankie Borrelli) 1608241770.0
The Daily Wire reported that beyond the Barstool Fund, Portnoy plans to feature "small businesses on a fundraising platform for others to crowdfund for those businesses that The Barstool Fund cannot support on its own."
In an update, Portnoy said that within just a few hours of his announcement he has seen an "overwhelming response" from individuals and major donors offering to contribute to the fund. He said he expects to have the funding site up Monday, and that Barstool also plans to offer businesses' t-shirts available for sale and that those proceeds will also go directly to the fund's recipients.
Quick update #barstoolfund https://t.co/5moMrpcBYk— Dave Portnoy (@Dave Portnoy) 1608255281.0