Dave Portnoy Says The Barstool Fund for Small Business Isn’t Going Away

barstool fund for small business

Dave Portnoy, founder of The Barstool Fund that helps small businesses during the pandemic, has announced he is extending the fund beyond the Covid era.

Portnoy had been winding down the fundraising efforts as restrictions across the country began being lifted during the spring and summer. However, a change of heart was recently announced via Instagram.

Portnoy said: “We’ve decided to turn The Barstool Fund into a full-time charity. Something that will be existing not only during Covid… but for decades making positive impacts for entrepreneurs who I truly believe are the backbone of the United States.”

Why the Barstool Fund Will Continue

Portnoy explained his reasoning for continuing The Barstool Fund. He described how people kept asking how they could donate to it. He has also been sharing videos of small business owners reacting to their applications being successful, with many in tears of joy and gratitude.

He and his fellow fund organizers believe they have achieved something very special and unique in creating a brand that people trust. They want to not only make a difference to small businesses during the pandemic, but for many years to come.

A New Barstool Fund Director

A part of the extension of The Barstool Fund will be the hiring of a full-time director to continue the good work.

In the listing for the new position, Portnoy said: “The director will oversee the fund’s day-to-day operations and will also be tasked with developing future strategies. The ideal candidate has previous leadership experience from a 501c3 organization and has worked in fast-paced, constantly changing environments, and adapts well in ambiguous circumstances.”

The 501c3 experience refers to the section of the US Internal Revenue Code that allows for federal tax exemption of non-profit organizations, especially those that are considered public charities, private foundations or private operating foundations.

What is The Barstool Fund?

The Barstool Fund is a non-profit 30-day monetary fund to help small businesses such as bars, restaurants and dry cleaners, survive shutdown orders caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was launched in December of 2020 by Dave Portnoy, internet celebrity and founder of the sports and pop culture blog Barstool Sports. Portnoy contributed $500,000 of his own money to get the fund started. He has since raised more than $41 million to help over 420 local businesses survive Government-enforced restrictions.

Among the 260,000 other contributors to the fund are many successful business people as well as celebrities. One of the most generous contributions was from musician Kid Rock, who personally donated a $100,000 sum to the fund. He excitedly declared his support for the fund saying, ‘This is the America I love!’, when announcing his donation.

To be eligible for the fund, small businesses must be keeping an active payroll. Portnoy and others helping organize The Barstool Fund review each application to determine eligibility. Each successful application then receives the financial aid they need to stay afloat during the pandemic.

Image: Dave Portnoy

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. She is based in the United Kingdom and since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".