East Meadow restaurant inspires Barstool Sports to donate to small businesses

Barstool Sports is offering aid to small businesses struggling during the pandemic.

News 12 Staff

Dec 19, 2020, 10:41 PM

Updated 1,273 days ago


Barstool Sports is offering aid to small businesses struggling during the pandemic.
The sports blog introduced "The Barstool Fund," which is based off of a Long Island restaurant.
For 65 years, Borrelli's Italian restaurant on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow has been family-owned and operated.
Frank Borrelli says after struggling all this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic -- he was afraid he'd have to close.
"It's very hard, I'm working here since I was 10 years old, and it's a big part of us," he says.
When COVID-19 cases started rising again in the fall, Borrelli says he saw more than a 50% drop in business.
So, his son's employer Dave Portnoy, president of the popular digital media company Barstool Sports, started a fund to help small business owners who are facing financial hardship because of COVID-19 safety restrictions.
Portnoy says it is "the perfect example of the kind of business we are trying to save."
Borrelli says thanks to money coming in from the fund, he can keep his doors open without laying off any staff.
"There was a chance I may have to lock the doors for a few months and regroup, and now I'm not going to have to do that," he says.
Now that Borrelli's not worried about closing his doors, loyal customers can still come, sit down and eat their favorite meals safely.
Customer Greg Naham says, "Normally this time of year, there's always Christmas parties and holiday parties going on here… they're missing all that business."
Fans of Barstool Sports are supporting the business too.
Portnoy says The Barstool Fund started with Borrelli's, but he aims to expand and help more businesses soon with donations from the public.
Borelli says, "He put up $500,000 of his own money, and he's raising millions of dollars from the Barstool family, family and friends that we have across the nation."
Companies can apply for help to pay rent or taxes by sharing their stories by email as long as they have paid their employees throughout the pandemic.

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