As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to decimate the economy and devastate small businesses nationwide, Barstool Sports and president Dave Portnoy decided to take action in support of struggling business owners. Pony Express Cleaners in Scottsdale, Arizona was one of the first 25 businesses to receive financial support from the newly established Barstool Fund.

Owner Kevin Redden was in his store on Christmas morning looking at the books and deciding whose hours to cut on the upcoming work schedule. His dry-cleaning business was down about 90% for the first few months of the pandemic and was still down 75% when his family delivered the good news.

Watch the video here.

“It’s one thing when you have your own life to worry about,” Redden said on Fox & Friends Weekend. “But when you’re carrying 10 people and their families on your back, it gets heavy.”

Redden’s daughter, Patty Redden is a fan of Barstool Sports and made the decision to apply on behalf of her father’s business once she read about the campaign. In fact, Patty mentioned that she thought their chances of receiving funding were slim to none due to the high number of struggling businesses that applied.

Barstool Fund nears $19 million in donations

Portnoy announced the intentions of the Barstool Fund via social media on December 17th, and it took off like a rocket ship.

In collaboration with the nonprofit 30 Day Fund, Barstool created the philanthropic campaign to assist businesses that have been negatively impacted by Covid-19. In fact, Portnoy donated $500,000 of his own money to the cause.

As mentioned above, Pony Express Cleaners was one of the first 25 businesses to receive support, as donations hovered around $7.5 million during the Christmas holiday. After Portnoy appeared on an episode of the popular podcast “The GaryVee Audio Experience” hosted by Gary Vaynerchuk, donations began to pile up at a rapid rate.

As of January 6th, the Barstool Fund has raised approximately $19 million in donations for small businesses across the country. The list of supporters has grown to well over 150,000 providing much needed relief to 81 businesses and counting.

In addition, Portnoy has been sharing some of the submission videos that were included in applications, as well as reaction videos from the businesses that were chosen. Needless to say, the results were heart-warming, as these owners, their families and their employees received much needed support during such a difficult period in our nation’s history.

For more information about the Barstool Fund and how to contribute, click here.