Barstool Sports founder and President Dave Portnoy has raised over $18 million for struggling small businesses that have continued paying employees despite financial devastation caused by crippling government lockdowns.
Nearly 80 businesses have already been supported by the Barstool Fund after Portnoy became fed up with unjust lockdowns and no relief. “I can’t believe in this country that what I consider the most basic right of them all, the right to earn a living, the right to earn a livelihood, is now being stolen,” Portnoy said. “And they’re saying that they protect us. Let us protect ourselves. You’re not protecting a family that you just destroyed.”
Many Americans have remarked that when it comes to COVID-19 relief, Barstool, with its private-sector fund, has been much more effective than Congress.
Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi waited months to pass a COVID-19 bill after the initial coronavirus relief benefits expired in July, even turning down a $1.8 trillion package offered by the Trump administration as a compromise. At the final hour, before the year ended, Congress finally passed a bill, but many Americans have been less than pleased to discover that millions of dollars that could have been allocated to struggling small businesses will actually be given to special interests that have nothing to do with the pandemic.
Some $25 million is going to Pakistan, $15 million to “democracy programs,” and another $10 million to unspecified “gender programs.” The Office of Diversity and Inclusion of the Appropriations Committee is receiving $1.5 million, and $200 million will be going toward new cars for foreign HIV/AIDS workers.
The Kennedy Center is receiving $40 million for operations, maintenance, and renovations — after having receiving $25 million in the first round of relief. Notably, several senators and representatives, including Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., are on the board of the performing arts center.
While we already know where some of the funds in the massive $900 billion stimulus package will go, we won’t really know who, how, or if American small businesses will actually receive meaningful assistance through the relief bill, paid for by American taxpayers.
Unlike when citizens blindly hand over tax dollars to the government monolith, Barstool Fund donors know their money will really be helping people. The countless testimonies posted on Portnoy’s Instagram are a perfect example of why private-sector support is more effective, efficient, and trustworthy than big government.
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One particularly moving example came from Jeff Carter, owner of the Dough Boy Fresh Pretzel Co., whose business was forced to close due to the pandemic right before his food truck was going to expand into a building. Carter submitted an emotional plea for help to the Barstool Fund, saying in his video, “We got licensed on March 8. We had a grand opening set for the first weekend in April, and obviously, that didn’t happen with COVID and everything.”
Carter explained it has been very difficult to plan anything when he was “pivoting back and forth” due to coronavirus restrictions. On Christmas morning, he said he couldn’t sleep because he “had about a month left of funds.” Carter continued, “We actually ended up selling the food truck just to keep us going, and it was just a constant pivot.”
Carter said he learned how to make dough from his grandmother and began to cry as he explained that “unfortunately, this was actually the first Christmas that I didn’t have my grandmother with me. She passed away in July. It was from a COVID quarantine, so I wasn’t able to see her.”
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The business owner told Fox Business, “Barstool saw us hurting, and Barstool helped.” Due to the pandemic, “91 cents on every dollar that came into my business this year went straight to my employees,” Carter said. “That’s not what you want your operating cost or your labor cost to be, so what Barstool generously has done has now pledged $15,000 a month to go straight toward our payroll,” Carter continued.
Barstool has drawn in donations from hundreds of thousands of Americans inspired by stories like Carter’s. Pete and Burson Snyder, founders of the nonprofit 30-Day Fund to help communities and small businesses, pledged $1 million to the Barstool Fund if the fund reached $14 million by midnight on New Year’s Eve, which Portnoy’s company did.
— Burson Taylor Snyder (@BursonSnyder) December 31, 2020
Kid Rock was another notable donor, pledging $100,000 and writing on Twitter, “THIS IS THE AMERICA I LOVE!”
— Kid Rock (@KidRock) January 4, 2021
You can easily submit an application for your business or donate on the Barstool Fund website.