Bakersfield · Business · Fresno

Two Valley businesses have pandemic wish granted, courtesy of Barstool Sports

While restaurants, small retailers and other small businesses across the country struggle through the ups – and largely downs – of the coronavirus pandemic, two Valley businesses are getting help from an unexpected source: one of the most popular sports media companies in America.

Barstool Sports, the Boston-born in-your-face sports media franchise, embarked on a new endeavor to help American small businesses with direct financial support via a fundraising campaign dubbed “The Barstool Fund.”

The fund, kicked off by Barstool’s eccentric president Dave Portnoy, has hauled in $27.4 million for small business grants, as of this publication.

Tuesday, The Spa and Hungry Hair Salon in Fresno’s Fig Garden Village was selected as a Barstool Fund grant recipient.

The Fresno-based salon was pitched to Barstool’s Portnoy by owner Tammie Riley’s two daughters – Lexie and Hana – via video.

Sunday, Portnoy – as has become tradition during the fundraising campaign – chatted with Riley via FaceTime to break the good news.

Earlier in January, Portnoy made a similar call to Bakersfield restaurant Locale Farm to Table Eatery to announce they, too, received a grant from the Barstool Fund.

Along with funding the recipients via direct contributions from readers, Barstool also raises grant funds by selling merchandise branded the logos of recipient businesses.

Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at