Barstool Sports Founder Dave Portnoy Announces He’s Giving Back to Small Businesses In a Huge Way: ‘I Don’t Care How I Get the Money’

Dave Portnoy is taking matters into his own hands amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The Barstool Sports founder, who has been outspoken about his distaste over the government shutdown of small businesses amid the pandemic, just announced a brand new plan for Barstool Sports to help much needed businesses in a potentially long-term way.

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy | Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Dave Portnoy has been outwardly against banning indoor dining

Throughout the pandemic, local and state governments across the United States have been enacting limitations on local businesses in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19, which has killed more than 300,000 Americans.

U.S. residents have had mixed feelings about the actions taken on small business, specifically restaurants, many of which have been required to limit capacity and operating hours — and in some cases, close in-house dining altogether. While some are advocating for lockdowns to slow the spread, others are questioning why mom and pop businesses are being asked to close while big box stores, such as WalMart and Target, are hardly as affected.

Dave Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports, has butted heads with politicians such as Governor Andrew Cuomo for speaking out against government leaders’ decisions to close indoor dining. “Politicians are stealing the basic right to earn a living,” Portnoy said in his Dec. 11 Instagram video.

Dave Portnoy
Dave Portnoy | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

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Portnoy is taking matters into his own hands with The Barstool Fund

After Portnoy’s initial rant about the second round of indoor dining closures in New York City, Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises, challenged Portnoy to “put your money where your mouth is.” Lemonis said that if Portnoy started a small business relief fund, Lemonis would immediately donate $500,000. Portnoy mulled it over and decided that it wasn’t a bad option.

On December 17, Portnoy revealed in an Instagram video that he was launching The Barstool Fund, a fund that will provide aide to small businesses throughout the U.S. — primarily restaurants. Portnoy asks that small business owners apply for a relief check via email, where they’ll explain how much money they need and why they need it, and Portnoy will select which restaurants will receive relief.

Plus, the relief isn’t just a one-time bailout. “Each month, we will continue to cut you a check for how much you need to stay in business ‘til this thing’s over,” Portnoy said. “I don’t care how I get the money. If I need to raise more money, if I need to pay it myself.”

Portnoy added that, though they will do their best to help as many restaurants as possible, they can’t guarantee that everyone who applies will receive relief. Portnoy said that the only “rule” to apply for relief is that small business owners must still be paying their employees.

Portnoy is worth more than $100 million

Portnoy has built a massive empire with his Barstool Sports website, which is well known for its sports articles but has expanded into other avenues, such as pop culture. Plus, Portnoy’s side gig is doing pizza reviews, which he started several years ago alongside his cameraman, Frankie Borrelli, whose father was the inspiration behind the relief fund. Of course, without local restaurants, Portnoy wouldn’t be able to do his pizza reviews, right? Though that’s certainly not the only reason he’s helping out, it’s definitely one reason for fans to donate to the cause.