JASPER, Ind. (WDRB) -- Two small, southern Indiana businesses are back on their feet after a tough year left them scraping money together to get by.
It's thanks to the Barstool Fund, a fundraiser started by Barstool Sports Founder Dave Portnoy. The goal is to help assist small, local businesses with financial aid following a difficult year.
Already, the fund has raised around $17 million and helped businesses around the country.
Jasper's Siebert's Clothing Store was one of many businesses who desperately needed that help.
Siebert's has thrived for 99 years in the Jasper community, until COVID-19 hit the store hard and forced them to close for weeks.
"It knocked our feet out from under us," said third-generation owner Jim Siebert.
The financial assistance from Barstool Sports comes after a Siebert family member saw the opportunity and reached out to the company. Shortly after, Portnoy video called Mr. Siebert and told him they were ready to help.
The video chat was posted on social media by Barstool Sports, and shows Siebert moved to tears.
"Dave Portnoy has been able to do things that our federal government hasn’t been able to do," Siebert told WDRB News. "... This fella, he put his money where his mouth is."
The video went viral on the internet, even catching the attention of NFL Quarterback Tom Brady.
This is awesome Dave. Count me in. https://t.co/9vCFrXxocy— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) December 30, 2020
Siebert says that the video encouraged more people to donate to the Barstool Fund.
Special Dogs and More in Columbus, Indiana, was a business who also got help.
The small restaurant aims to employ people with special needs and give them an opportunity to work a job. However, it was on the brink of closing due to COVID-19.
The mission of the restaurant to help those with special needs caught Portnoy and Barstool's attention.
"We get the call from Barstool, and all I can say is wow," the restaurant's owner Randy Lapitus said.
Their video chat was also posted to Barstool Sports' social media pages.
The owners of Special Dogs and More know the impact will help them, and other communities across the country stay afloat.
"For them to put forth that responsibility and to take that off our shoulders so that we can focus on our employees and our business without having to worry every night where we're going to come up with the money for next month, it's just an amazing feeling," said owner Robin Lapitus.
You can donate to the Barstool Fund by clicking here.
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