The founder of Barstool Sports, Dave Portnoy, is fed up with waiting for the government to get their act together to help small businesses get back on their feet during the coronavirus pandemic. He established a fund on December 17th along with 30 Day Fund, a nonprofit organization, to help small businesses that are suffering due to the economic effects brought on by the coronavirus. Portnoy even contributed $500,000 of his own money into this fund. He has raised $9,000,000 as of Tuesday, December 29th and I’m sure that number will be rising in the coming days. Businesses can submit their information for consideration to a website (email@example.com), but many across the country have benefited from his generosity. Portnoy has pledged that small businesses will benefit through the end of the pandemic.
This is not the first time a wealthy figure has donated their money to help those in need during the coronavirus pandemic. Jack Dorsey, Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bezos, and Dolly Parton are some names that have donated their personal funds to help combat the effects from the pandemic or to assist in vaccine production. Their donations have ranged in figures from $1,000,000 to $1,000,000,000.
Barstool Sports has had its fair share of controversies in the past and may have a rather provocative reputation. This doesn’t mean that this should be held against the company or its founder for the good work that they are doing for small businesses. Portnoy has been outspoken about the lockdowns imposed by the government and the government’s inactions and his frustration have brought on a good cause. It’s been a while since he has founded Barstool Sports, but I’m sure as an entrepreneur and business owner, he can sympathize with people that are struggling to maintain their livelihood. This isn’t just being done for the publicity.
One thing that I think is especially admirable about his cause is that he has called the business owners directly to let them know that he will be donating to their business. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not discounting any of the donations that the celebrities and public figures listed above that have contributed to other causes. Trust me, the fact that Dolly Parton donated her money to Vanderbilt University to assist with the Moderna vaccine trials makes me love her even more. However, it could seem impersonal since they may just be donating to the cause and not to someone directly.
Barstool’s contributions to small businesses around the country is another example of how the greater American community has really rallied around each other to help. I mentioned back in August that fridges were being established in neighborhoods in major cities for those struggling with hunger during the pandemic (Popping Up with a Sense of Community: Pop Up Fridges), which is another example of this. The Barstool Fund is another way to show how much we can come together as a people to get back on our feet and be a better society despite the adversity (that adversity, unfortunately, includes Congress now as well).