SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — A Scottsdale dry cleaning business got some much-needed help from the Barstool Fund, a fund set up to help small businesses survive the pandemic.
Pony Express Cleaners, a dry cleaning company in Scottsdale, was only "six or seven weeks" away from closing, owner Kevin Redden said.
A large part of his business comes from the hospitality industry, he said, which was decimated by the pandemic and shutdowns. That loss of business trickled down to Redden's business, which he said was down 75 percent or more.
If he closed, his 10 employees would be unemployed.
"I was looking at people's lives," Redden said. "These are people I've known or years."
Redden's daughter submitted an application to the Barstool Fund, a project of Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy. The Barstool Fund has raised more than $7 million to help small deserving small businesses impacted by the pandemic, mostly from donations.
On Christmas Day, Portnoy called the Redden family, but Kevin wasn't there. he was at the dry cleaners, trying to determine which of his employees could best survive a cut in hours.
Redden's family came to the shop and told him: The Barstool Fund would pay their payroll until the pandemic was over.
"It was like God has lifted the world off my back," Redden said.
In video Portnoy posted to Twitter, Redden is seen breaking down in tears as he realizes his business won't have to close.
"Thank God I got daughters who know what they're doing," Redden aid. "Because they're the ones who save the day for me and my employees."
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