A sports website has answered the call for small businesses during the pandemic.

Barstool Sports and their aptly titled Barstool Fund has raised nearly $30M worldwide and as of right now supported 168 businesses in the United States.

Struggling business owners were encouraged to apply for help by sending Barstool Sports an email explaining why they need the money. Obviously, in the world of COVID, there isn't a small business that isn't struggling and looking for help.

However, some letters and the stories in them stand out more than others, like Sisters Thai Cafe.

Formerly inside the now-demolished Clock Tower Resort, the family thought their dream was over when they had to close. Thanks to small business loans, Sisters Thai was reopened in downtown Rockford in 2017. Three years later, COVID hit the Stateline.

My parents lost a few employees because they were making more money on unemployment, which we understood. Our servers couldn’t even make tips because we aren’t allowed to have anyone dine in. My parents have yet to let anyone go because they know the struggle of not having a job right now, so they are struggling to make ends meet while trying to provide jobs to our well-deserved employees.

On January 22, Sengchannavong sent Barstool a video message applying for the Barstool Fund.

The next day, Sengchannavong got a FaceTime call from Dave Portnoy, founder of Barstool Sports.

Sengchannavong, a nurse, was at work when she received the call but it seemed like the process is cut and dry. Portnoy told Sengchannavong she'll receive an email with details on how the funds will be delivered and every so often someone will check in to make sure they're doing well. The way it sounds, if Sisters Thai continues to struggle financially, Barstool Sports will do what's needed to help keep them afloat.

I think it's one of the best feel-good stories since the pandemic hit Rockford, and I'm so glad for Sengchannavong and her family.

If you're a small business owner and you're having a difficult time staying open you should apply for the Barstool Fund.

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Sweet Lenny is the brand manager of 97ZOK, Q98.5, and Operations Manager for Townsquare Media Rockford. Catch him afternoons 3 to 7 on 97ZOK. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and like his page on Facebook.

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