Barstool Sports Chief Dave Portnoy Launches ‘Bar Fund’ to Help Small Businesses Recover from Lockdowns

Dave Portnoy
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Dave Portnoy of the popular sports and news site Barstool Sports announced a $500,000 fund to help support as many small businesses as possible to survive the coronavirus lockdowns.

Portnoy decried the current situation facing the small businesses that face utter failure thanks to the many coronavirus lockdowns across the nation. These businesses have a “right to earn a living,” Portnoy said.

“New York City just closed indoor dining,” Portnoy said in a video Tweet. “What do they think is going to happen? What do they think is going to happen to the thousands of restaurants, the bars? They’re done! The bar and restaurant industry, small businesses, have been squeezed and squeezed and squeezed.”

“I’ve been ranting and raving lately about the plight of small business in the United States. New York City just shut down indoor dining. It’s like, how do you expect these people to survive? How are restaurants going to survive?” Portnoy added. “They’re already on their last legs and you’re pulling the plug on them, and nobody seems to care in the government.”

Portnoy announced the fund saying that it may not be the best plan because the “best plan is the government getting off their ass 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,” he said.

Portnoy went on to explain, “The Barstool Fund, it is modeled around [my cameraman] Frankie Borrelli. Well, his dad owns Borrelli’s in Long Island, the perfect example of the type of business we are trying to save. Throughout this pandemic, I’ve been, like, ‘Hey, Frankie, how’s your dad doing? How’s Borrelli’s doing?’ Every month it gets a little bleaker.”

Portnoy said he is inspired by Borrelli’s father, who has continued to pay his employees despite being shut down. Portnoy said he is taken with Borrelli’s going-down-with-the-ship” attitude.

“The requirement is: your payroll has to be on; your employees have to still be getting paid. So, if you meet that, and you’re a small business that’s been around for a little bit, or maybe not, but [whether it’s a] gym, restaurant, bar, and you’re not going to be able to survive the next couple of months, send us an email [at] barstoolfund@barstoolsports.com,” he said.

Portnoy said that he intended to save as many small businesses as he can with his fund.

The first small business owner to receive an allotment from the “Bar Fund” teared up after being told of the award.

“Wow. Wow, that’s amazing. Dave, I really want to thank you for starting this fund. You don’t know what it means to us,” Frankie Borrelli said, tearing up. “It started in April. We had our doors closed. We made it through the summer. We built an outdoor patio. People coming in, we were breaking even during the summer. I got my staff. They’re all being paid, and I said we’ll make it through Christmas. January, February, [and] March I was planning on closing. I didn’t say anything to my staff. This is going to help so much. You don’t know. Thank you from [the] bottom of my heart. And my staff, they have mortgages, families. You don’t know how many people you’re helping. Thank you.”

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